Pipeline officials updates Pocahontas residents, commissioners on project

 The Atlantic Coast Pipeline was a hot topic on the agenda during Tuesday's commission meeting in Pocahantas County.

    Once Completed, the 600 mile gas line is expected to pass through Pocahontas County and  Virginia. 
 More than a dozen concerned residents attended the meeting and received an update on the project.

According to Robert Orndorff, State Policy Director for Dominion Services Inc., the project is currently in the "tree felling" stage where workers are out cutting trees down and preparing the pipeline route for construction. 

During the meeting, some people spoke out against the project citing that it will harm the environment. 

Allen Johnson has lived in the county for the past 40 years. 

"I oppose it strongly," Johnson said. "On a grounds that it's economically going to be a hardship, its going to be a negative for our county. We wil have zero permanent jobs, we will have the potential of degrading our water our tourism our land values our property values."

Orndorff ensured residents that the pipeline will not pose a threat to the environment. 

"We did a comprehensive analysis of this area." Orndorff said.  " Our proposed construction management techniques are best in practice so we know we are sensitive to those issues we listened to them we will work with the folks who are in this area and make sure that  we protect the environment."

Also during the meeting, residents and commissioners were introduced to two pipeline officials Denise Campbell and Mike Cozad who will serve as community liaisons until the project is complete. 
Their job is to work closely with people living in Pocahantas County and try and provide a smooth transition during the project's construction phase. 

Construction is expected to start this spring and end in December of 2019.
The project still has a few hurdles to pass through before getting the green light. 
 It needs a permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and state permits as well before construction can begin. 

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