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Pipeline Route Changed


A change in the proposed route of a natural gas pipeline that would run through southwestern Virginia is a victory for the town of Floyd.  But some say, it simply sends the problem elsewhere.

The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline would transport natural gas from the Marcellus Shale reserve in Pennsylvania through Virginia to North Carolina.  That prospect mobilized people in Floyd County to fight the plan for the 42 inch pipe to pass though their land. 

Mara Robbins heads a group called Citizens Preserving Floyd County. “It certainly shows the strength of community and a education, and, you know, the power of the people. It’s been less than 3 months since Floyd county begun to organize and I think that especially in terms of participating in our system of government it’s been very indicative to me that when the people show up and ask their representatives to represent them, they do.”

And that has other counties mobilizing. Angela Stanton and her husband Wil live in Montgomery country. They’d like to also see a coalition of people and politicians achieve the same outcome that Floyd apparently has and to stop the pipeline altogether. But she’s dismayed by support of the project recently expressed by Governor Terry McAuliffe

“I guess I’d like to ask what happened? When he was campaigning for governor he was very much against fracking so I’m not sure what happened but it appears that there’s a different kind of green that’s inspiring him right now and it’s not the environment. “

Representatives from EQT, a partner in the pipeline project will meet with county officials and the public over the next several weeks.

Spokesperson Natalie Cox says topics will include the new proposed route, plans and discussion of the timeline for pipeline construction process. Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC expects to begin the pre-filing process with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before the end of this month.

Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg, covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia.
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