WPOA Executive Director outlines process of proposed pipeline construction

Taken from Russell Otis' report on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in the January 2016 Wintergreen Property Owners Association newsletter from his November 14, 2015 annual meeting presentation

First, I want to very briefly summarize this summary. Our efforts were divided as follows. We needed to educate ourselves on what exactly was proposed and get a handle on implications for our community.

Second, we needed to notify our owners of this issue which we did first with our email on March 13, 2015. This email directed owners to the web sites of all the major players at that time. When Friends of Wintergreen (FOW) was created, we once again reached out to owners to inform them of the important new player in the game.

Third, I want to assure you that WPOA has represented all of you in writing and in person with our Congressman, Senators, the Governor of Virginia, FERC, Dominion, and our local elected officials. In most cases the contacts have been multiple, but the message clear. We do NOT want this pipeline here!

Now I want to describe to you the actual construction process that will take place, if this route is approved.

Click image to enlarge

∗  RED Line on the map represents NORTH/WEST side boring with Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD).

∗  All waste materials will be taken west to the Augusta County landfill.

∗  Drilling expected to take 14 months, again all activity will be on the other side of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountain.

∗  The HDD bore will not emerge from underground until it gets to this point below Route 664 (Beech Grove Road) and opposite the Gatehouse.

∗  The green line represents the centerline of the pipeline; 62.5 feet will be cleared on either side of this line.

∗  At the point of the HDD exit a gravel pad 100 feet long and 50 feet wide will be temporarily place as a foundation for the equipment needed to pull the pipeline through the bore. This process of pulling the pipe though should last 2-3 days.

∗  At the southern crossing of Route 664 a conventional boring machine will operate for an additional 2-3 days.

∗  The ditching between the bore exit and bore entrance is scheduled to take one to three weeks. That however assumes no weather interruptions. I am not sure how long it will take for complete restoration of the grading work.

∗  Looking at the map, the green line going up the mountain on the east side of Route 664 will require the most time to construct. This portion represents just under 1,000 linear feet before existing Wintergreen property. The yellow line marks the point where Fortunes Point begins and Wintergreen ends, showing the route heading down the ridgeline toward Spruce Creek at Route 151.

∗  The total length of pipeline on our property is approximately 2,100 linear feet. The 125’ construction easement will disturb (clear cut) 6.02 acres and the 75’ permanent easement will take 3.61 acres.

∗  We believe that if we are stuck with this situation we would be better served negotiating for non-cash items such as reforestation and reclamations.

∗  All staging areas for equipment storage, pipe storage and construction offices will be in Augusta County. I am not trying to minimize the problems associated with the pipeline, but rather am trying to present as clear a picture as possible regarding what we can expect if we cannot move the route away.

∗  Finally I want all of you to understand that the WPOA Board of Directors is committed to a concentrated effort to push for relocation of the pipeline.

∗  When I hear the peripheral arguments about “how many local jobs will be created” or how much of this gas will be going overseas,” all I can say is the I don’t personally care where it is going, so long as it does NOT go right past the door to my office to get there.

∗  Another point regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline fight relates to the question I have frequently heard. “Why hasn’t WPOA donated money to the Friends of Wintergreen”? The answer is not that the WPOA Board does not support the mission of FOW, rather it is that they have consistently adhered to the philosophy that those property owners who wish to make a contribution, certainly may but that the Board of Directors should not presume to spend Association funds paid in assessments by those who would choose not to contribute.

Rest assured that this vitally important issue will continue to be the focus of attention for your Board and Staff. Finally let me call upon all of your assistance in this fight.

Those of you in the room who are “Big Shots,” and you know who you are, please exercise and use all the influence you have to block the current route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.