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Pipeline developers brief Roanoke County Board of Supervisors and committee of Regional Chamber of Commerce

October 21, 2021
tags: Lawsuits, , Natural gas pipelines
by dianak16

Below are notes from briefings last Tuesday and Wednesday regarding a proposed natural gas pipeline through Roanoke County. EQT and NextEra are partnering to build a 300-mile natural gas pipeline from Marcellus Shale fields in West Virginia across the Alleghenies and the Blue Ridge to the North Carolina line. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the decisive body in this process. The company has a website devoted to the project

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Organizing Trip in Roanoke Valley Cool Cities & Combating Climate Change

April 27, 2022
tags: Roanoke Valley Cool Cities, Combating Climate Change, Vacation Financing
by dianak16

Are you planning a vacation soon in Roanoke Valley? If so, you might be wondering how to do it and how you can cope with the climate change while resting. Don't worry though: you can do it both in our "Cool Cities". Vacation is a great way to combat climate change, especially when you plan it reasonably.

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Earthquakes and pipelines: recipe for disaster

September 19, 2021
tags: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Fracked natural gas,
by dianak16

Red line = proposed route of Mountain Valley Pipeline

On September 13, 2021, Monroe County, West Virginia experienced the largest earthquake in decades, with the epicenter 1.5 mile from the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline route.

The Roanoke Times reported that more than 200 calls came into the Giles County Sheriff's Office dispatch in the half hour after the quake. Within a day, over 500 citizens notified the USGS that they had felt the earthquake.

The Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory rated it a magnitude 3.7 earthquake, while the US Geological Survey pegged it at 3.2 (they use slightly different measurement strategies).

Wednesday's earthquake is the second one that was felt within 4 months in the GCSZ, with another on May 12, 2021 near Narrows, Virginia (magnitude 2.8).



Well, these weren't huge earthquakes, so what's the problem? Very simply, Mountain Valley Pipeline has chosen to place a very large (42”), explosive pipeline under enormous pressure (1,440 pounds of pressure per square inch) on a very dangerous route. Threats to communities near and downstream from the pipeline include:

  • Increased leakage of hazardous materials such as methane, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and radon from the pipeline into drinking water wells and public water supplies.
  • Increased risk of pipeline failure, producing catastrophic damage within as much as 7,700 feet on each side of the pipeline. WANT TO SEE WHAT A MUCH SMALLER 20″ PIPELINE LOOKED LIKE WHEN IT EXPLODED AND MELTED PART OF INTERSTATE 77? THIS IS THE SISSONVILLE, WV PIPELINE IN DECEMBER 2012.
  • Increased risk of major wildfires due to potential explosions on a route that is very heavily forested.

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Hands Across the AT Celebration, Saturday, August 19 in Pearisburg

August 18, 2021
tags: Appalachian Trail, Fracked natural gas, Mountain
by dianak16

Are you tired of partisan bickering? Join us at 10:30 am tomorrow for a bipartisan celebration of the Appalachian Trail at the Pearisburg Community Center in Giles County. Google Earth map link here.

  • State Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke) and Delegate Joseph Yost (R-Pearisburg) will speak, showing the bipartisan opposition that Mountain Valley  has earned due to its disregard for landowners and the environment. Edwards and Yost simultaneously introduced legislation in the 2016 session of the General Assembly to rescind the state’s current survey law.
  • Diana Christopulos, President of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, will recall why we love the Trail and Trail towns like Pearisburg.
  • Songwriter Leslie Brooks will provide entertainment, including her new anti-pipeline ballad.
  • Strange Coffee will offer coffee and donuts, with all proceeds donated to the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club!

See you there!

Show your colors (blue) at August 8 – 10 DEQ hearings on Mountain Valley Pipeline!

August 7, 2021
by dianak16


The Mountain Valley Pipeline  threatens at least 4 major water sources in the Roanoke region:

  1. Western Virginia Water Authority (WVWA) ~ Spring Hollow Water Reservoir
  2. City of Salem Water ~ treatment plant that uses Roanoke River as direct source
  3. Thousands of private ground water wells in Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties
  4. Regional public ground water wells used by WVWA and Salem,

It would cross the Roanoke River and its tributaries over 120 times above Roanoke; go straight up and down extremely steep slopes (often over 30 percent);  impact about 17,000 acres of forest in Virginia; and traverse cave-filled karst terrain over much of its course it Virginia.

WHAT TO SAY. Here is a simple handout for what to say. (You only get 3 minutes).You can find more ideas on our previous post. Keep it simple and use personal examples. You will only have 3 minutes! Since our last post, State Senator John Edwards of Roanoke has written an excellent letter to DEQ.

WHEN AND WHERE. AND WEAR! Wear blue to show your support for clean water! No backpacks or signs inside the hearing room. DEQ has published a booklet on how it works. There will be two public hearings in Virginia (neither of them on the pipeline route in Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke or Franklin counties).

  • AUGUST 8, 2021, 6:00 pm to 10 pm. RADFORD UNIVERSITY, Preston/Bondurant Auditorium, 801 East Main Street, Radford, VA 24142. Park only in Lot A (adjacent to Auditorium), or Lots E and U (University Drive bridge access to Auditorium). Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club has scheduled a carpool available at 3:30 from Exit 140 on I 81 via their Meetup group.
  • AUGUST 9, 2021, 6:00 to 10:00 pm. CHATHAM HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham, Virginia 24531. Park only in designated areas on school property/

There will also be two public forums – which are not formal hearings but will have DEQ staff in attendance:

  • AUGUST 10, 1:00 P.M. at the Newport Community Center.
  • AUGUST 10, 5:00 P.M. at Cave Spring High School.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has the legal authority – and responsibility – to deny permits to Mountain Valley Pipeline under Virginia Administration Code 9 VAC 25-210-80! Connecticut and New York have already denied water permits to 3 federally-approved pipelines due to their negative impacts on the states’ waters.

Yet DEQ is not allowing citizens on the pipeline route to comment on information being collected about the pipeline. DEQ is collecting detailed information from the pipeline company about proposed construction of this large and dangerous pipeline. However, the DEQ will not even receive this information from the pipeline company until late August 2017. Yet DEQ is holding public hearings in completing its public hearings on August 8 and 9, 2021 and will have no hearings in communities along the pipeline route in Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke or Franklin counties. The public will never have an opportunity to comment on information that directly affects their drinking water!

You can also comment (in much more detail) in writing.  The deadline is August 22, 2021.

Hand-delivery: DEQ, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Postal mail: DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218
Email: e-mail to:

Can we talk about the future of fossil fuels? With more than one informed voice?

March 30, 2021
tags: AEP, Appalachian Power, climate change, energy conservation, Energy efficiency, Fossil fuels, Joe Lovett, Renewable energy
by dianak16

WHAT: Social discourse on the role of fossil fuels in the face of climate change and economic reality

WHEN: Wednesday, April 26, 7-8:30 pm

WHERE: Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, 214 Mountain Avenue, SW, Roanoke, Va 24016

Maybe one positive outcome of the avalanche of crude, impolite, fact-challenged information threatening to bury us is the rise of many good citizens to restore civil, fact-based conversation. Katherine Fralin, Pastor George Anderson (Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke), Suzanne Gandy, and the people at 101.5/102.5 The Mountain fm have worked very hard to put together the first in a series of forums on important topics confronting all of us.

Joe Lovett, the Executive Director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates, has been a catalyst for focusing local and national attention on the devastation caused by mountaintop removal coal mining. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Law in 1995 and served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.  He has served as a lawyer in many precedent-setting cases against both industry and regulatory agencies, earning significant awards for his work on behalf of the environment and citizens of central Appalachia. And he is an engaging speaker!

Mark Dempsey, Vice President, External Affairs for Appalachian Power/AEP,  is responsible for external affairs, corporate communications, environmental affairs, economic development and customer services engineering for Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. He has been with AEP since 1972. Appalachian Power provides electricity to more than a million residential and commercial customers via 3 coal-fired power plants in West Virginia (71% of total generation);  3 natural gas powered plants in Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia (about 20% of generation); and 10 hydro or pumped storage facilities scattered through Virginia and West Virginia (about 10% of generation). The parent company, AEP, owns wind facilities in the Western United States with a generating capacity of 620 megawatts.

The program is FREE. Just bring your open mind and your civil tongue!

Church contact: 540-343-3659

Program contact: Suzanne Gandy,, 540-556-5988

Troubling use of police power at November 3 FERC meeting in Roanoke

November 26, 2020
tags: EQT, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, Mountain Valley Pipeline
by dianak16


(Higher quality versions of the videos may be found at the FERC Roanoke 11/3/16 Facebook page)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – a federal government agency – did not use tear gas or water hoses at the November 3 “public” hearing about the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline in Roanoke, but they did impose troubling rules and used an undercover agent and local police to enforce them. (According to a front-page story in the Roanoke Times, approximately 200 people showed up to oppose the pipeline at this hearing and a peaceful public gathering in another part of the hotel.)

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