January 23, 2018, letter (via email) from Wintergreen Property Owners Association (WPOA) Executive Director Jay Roberts to all Wintergreen property owners:
In a recent request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Dominion asked the Federal Agency to allow limited non-mechanized tree cutting on easements they have acquired for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). This request came after Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) asked for additional engineering and other related information as part of the State’s permitting process. As of today, Virginia DEQ has not granted all of the required permits for the ACP, with additional hearings scheduled in April.
On Friday, FERC approved the limited non-mechanized tree cutting with these limitations – they can only proceed “on lands where easements have been obtained, surveys have been completed, and where no additional state or local permits are required for the activity." While Dominion has acquired some property around Wintergreen, Dominion HAS NOT acquired an easement on WPOA property. You might begin to see evidence of tree cutting on properties adjacent to Wintergreen, however, you will not see tree cutting on the entrance parcel owned by WPOA.
- Dominion does not have an easement on WPOA property.
- Dominion has not submitted a final offer to WPOA for the easement and cannot file suit to seize WPOA property until they have made a final offer, and WPOA rejects this offer.
- WPOA is committed to the best outcome and communicating directly with our elected officials that tree cutting should not be allowed until after DEQ has completed the permit process and a Court grants Dominion WPOA property through Eminent Domain.
- WPOA rejects the idea of limited tree cutting in advance of final DEQ approvals or Eminent Domain verdict, given that tree cutting at our entrance would do permanent, irreparable harm to our mountain gateway.
What can you do? For those of you who want to speak out against the ACP taking of Wintergreen land, please join WPOA in communicating your disapproval directly with State and Federal officials. In a recent email campaign, Friends of Wintergreen (FOW) provided a process that is simple and efficient. If you did not receive the FOW email and want to get involved, you can click on this link for details: CLICK HERE. For those of you who want to join your neighbors and file suit for the taking of your Easements on WPOA property and the lost property value associated with the project, you can learn more and sign up here: http://www.friendsofwintergreen.com/lawsuit/
Executive Director, WPOA