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The proposed construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would impact the headwaters of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. This is a transmission line to get fracked gas out of Pennsylvania and West Virginia and ship it down to North Carolina and Portsmouth, Virginia. If constructed, this pipeline will traverse the South River, one of two rivers that join up down by Waynesboro to form the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.
Our Position: We are opposed to the construction of the pipeline because we do not believe it can be built without hurting the habitat of a number of endangered species including the Virginia Big-Eared bat and the habitat of several other species by fragmenting the forest, isolating populations and increasing forest edge that threaten the survival of these species. This fragmentation also promotes invasive species and the spread of disease in the George Washington National Forest. Finally, sedimentation caused by construction could threaten the water quality especially those of special concern such as native brook trout streams and the headwater streams that supply the water used by the Shenandoah Valley as well as destroying what makes the Shenandoah Valley so beautiful and special.
Our Strategy: We joined the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance, an coalition of groups working to oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Along with Waterkeepers Chesapeake, we filed to intervene in the pipeline’s application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). We have opposed Dominion’s unprecedented requisition to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to grant permission for the pipeline to be built on 10 protected conservation properties. Virginia Outdoors Foundation should not be asked to allow destruction of conservation values on these properties and risk damaging its relationship with current and future easement landowners to build an unneeded pipeline that offers no local benefits and puts special cultural and ecological landscapes at risk. Several environmental and economic studies show that the pipeline would cause irreversible damage and is not necessary. FERC rubber-stamped its approval with the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).