This is a compilation of the comments filed with FERC by landowners, concerned residents, advocacy groups, and other interested parties for the week of April 2, 2018.
Save Monroe filed comments with FERC March 31 that were posted to the official docket April 2. The filing is addressed to Joby Timm, Supervisor for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. In the filing, the advocacy group expressed their concern over the unannounced closure of the entirety of Pocahontas Road on March 31.
“USFS personnel are not allowing members of the public on that section of the road, not even on foot,” the filing read. “Members of the public were told that the road is closed for safety reasons for an unknown number of days.”
Despite these reports, the only closure order on the Forest Service’s website was the order issued March 19, with which the group had previously raised several issues.
Save Monroe indicated three major questions relating to the reports of the closure:
1. Are the reports that the Pocahontas Road is closed between the gate “first Forest Service gate” as shown on the map in Order N. 08-08-11-18-03 and its intersection with Clendennin Road accurate?
2. If so, under what authority did USFS personnel close that road segment?
3. If they are not operating under your authority as JNF Supervisor, what steps are you planning to take to remedy this confusing and potentially dangerous situation?
The US Forest Service has since posted the new closure order.
Lois King Waldron & Lois Waldron Martin
Lois King Waldron and Lois Waldron Martin of Bent Mountain, VA filed comments April 2 regarding the discovery of two red-tailed hawks and a nest on their property. Red-tailed hawks are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which predates the Natural Gas Act by 20 years.
“It would seem unconstitutional for any legislation in regard to the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 passed after FERC’s approval of MVP’s pipeline not to be considered without some kind of “grandfathered” protection,” the comments read.
Arietta DuPre, an impacted landowner in Talcott, WV, filed comments April 5 describing destruction of personal property and abuse to her horses at the hands of MVP employees. DuPre described seven instances of misconduct, but asserted that the list is by no means exhaustive. DuPre’s list of issues includes issues in which MVP employees shorted out her electric fence, cut off her 30-year-old horse from shelter in a snow storm, then later from access to water, lack of feed that MVP indicated they would provide, and lack of compensation for additional facilities that will need to be repaired or replaced after MVP construction, among others.
DuPre also indicated that the stress of the situation has impacted her own health.
Robin Scully Boucher
Robin Scully Boucher, a resident of Blacksburg, VA, filed comments April 6 detailing an observed incident of illegal tree cutting on Brush Mountain on April 5 and 6.
“As the stated date to stop cutting issued by your commission was March 31, 2018 the cutting which is currently occurring is an illegal activity,” Boucher said. “Please issue a cease order so that the endangered bat species that are emerging from caves at this time and will roost in trees along this route, are not killed during the cutting along the MVP right of way.”
Kendall Gunter, a resident of Charlottesville, VA, filed comments April 6 expressing opposition to the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Gunter asserted that there has been no evidence of need for the pipeline, eminent domain has been used for private gain, and that the geology of the area cannot sustain a pipeline.
Levi Helm, described as a resident of Craig County, VA, filed comments April 6 requesting that previously filed requests for rehearing be heard. Helm additionally stated, “should MVP file for an extension for tree cutting, I ask that this request be denied.”
“The local environment is not capable of supporting a pipeline without considerable environmental damage,” Helm said.
Bruce Coffey, an impacted landowner on Bent Mountain, filed April 4 a list of migratory birds that have been observed within the proposed route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline over the previous two weeks. The list is broken into three categories:
- Ground nesting: includes eight sighted bird species
- Mid-level (shrubs, small trees, and other undergrowth) nesting: includes 12 sighted bird species
- Tree and cavity nesting: includes 20 sighted bird species
Not Specified (photos)
Two sets of comments were filed by unnamed individuals April 2.
The first included photos of felled trees which appear to have fallen on manmade beehives, with the phrase “MVP destroying trees, the animals and insects, and property.”
The second included photos of MVP stakes and signs, along with photos of what appear to be MVP employees. With the photos is the phrase “MVP-taking away landowner rights for their own greed and profit.”