Was a celebratory walk along the path of a proposed fracked-gas pipeline (ACP) . Witnessing what is on the line - the rivers, forests, mountains, farms and homes, that are in danger of irreversible destruction.
Starting in Highland County, we followed the proposed path for 150 miles - through Bath, Augusta and Nelson County, and into the heart of Virginia; Buckingham County - the site of the proposed toxin-emitting compression station.
The vision was that of a celebratory, peaceful walk of resistance, to share the stories of the communities and the beauty of the landscape that would be impacted, to raise awareness and help ensure that these ill-conceived plans do not come to fruition.
Complete the surveyor email email@example.com to give feeback and to let us know how you would like to stay/get involved, moving forward.
We have nothing but gratitude if you WALKED THE LINE with us, supported us, hosted us, or simply followed along...on this pilgrimage into the beating heart of Virginia!
Walking the Line’s recent meeting brought over 50 people to celebrate the Walk and identify next steps. Those next steps formed into a three-pronged plan of action:
In August, these steps will stride toward the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearings (calendar and details HERE or on Facebook event page) in a campaign entitled “This is Not a Hearing. This is a Robbery.”- Our sense is that these hearings and the public comment period they are part of reflect an overall effort from pipeline advocates, both in and out of government, to push the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines through very quickly now, possibly before the election in November. These hearings are a sham* and we want to center our media attention and our ARTivist presence on that fact and on the corruption these pipeline projects reveal. - There are many ways to help with this work, both practical and creative. Sign up to attend one of the hearings (Robberies) or email Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help.
Effective immediately we are, forming a coalition with grassroots groups across Virginia, with particular emphasis on Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, with more direct political action to educate and pressure candidates for state office to know and tell the full truth on the pipelines, to pledge to stop them, to move our state toward lower greenhouse gas emissions and to cease taking corrupting donations from Dominion. Mr. Northam has publicly promised us focus groups on the pipeline and other environmental issues and we are following up on that promise with ferocity. Virginia is Rising. To work with Lee on this, contact him at email@example.com or sign up here.
*These hearings are a sham. Wild Virginia summarizes the shoddy nature of the ACP hearings in this way, “The Virginia DEQ has initiated a public comment period, scheduled public hearings and issued a draft 401 Water Quality Certificate to Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC, without making public detailed, project specific erosion, sediment control and stormwater plans for all proposed land disturbance related to pipeline construction including access roads and pipeline construction areas. DEQ has hired a company with business ties to Dominion to review the plans instead of doing the review itself. DEQ has deferred evaluation of construction activities through streams and across wetlands to the Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12. The DEQ proposed to only assess activities that affect water quality that are not connected to construction activities.” The Army Corps of Engineers permit is a blanket permit from a rubber stamp entity that involves no on the ground assessment of threats to water at each river, stream and wetland crossing.
An invitation for you to join us, as we sow new seeds, new energies and better solutions for our land, our water, our air, and our children. Together we Rise against these greed lines. Together we can reap, just what we choose to sow.
The Sacred Places Map combines the work of 18 fine artists to depict only a few of the sacred places, things and beings that would be threatened along the proposed ACP route in Virginia. Curator: Lilly Bechtel
Sacred Places Map, Point #1: Old Growth Forest, Bath County. On Bill and Lynn Limpert’s property in Bath County an old growth forest sits directly in the path of the proposed pipeline. Bill says of this forest “When we walk beneath the big trees on our property we feel a sense of awe. We named the hollow where we first saw the big trees ‘Cathedral Hollow’ because it feels like being in a church with a very high ceiling. We consider this land sacred ground.” (Artwork by Tim Michel)
Sacred Places Map, Point #3: George Washington National Forest. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is proposed to cut through George Washington National Forest, a state treasure as well as home to three Central Appalachian Shale Barrens, core areas for biological diversity which comprise 113 acres in and around the Forest. (Artwork by Ken Horne)
Sacred Places Map, Point #5: Braley Pond. Braley Pond, in the George Washington National Forest, is a beautiful and diverse gathering place, including trailheads, campgrounds, picnic areas and annual visits from Naturalists. Lynn Cameron, a local, says: “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would create a permanent industrial corridor next to Braley Pond that would mar the scenic beauty, fragment the forest, create a new path for invasive species, and degrade the magic place that generations of visitors have come to enjoy.” Braley Pond is one example of endangered bodies of water, with the proposed ACP crossing streams in 189 places in Augusta county alone. (Artwork, based on a topographical image of Braley Pond, by Laura Snyder)
Sacred Places Map, Point #2: Headwaters. High in the mountains spring the headwaters of the James, Shenandoah and Potomac. These rivers provide drinking water for millions of Virginians, including those in Richmond and in Washington, DC. The ACP is proposed to cross these headwaters in several places, and at a point West of Richmond, tunnel under the James River. Our water sources are vulnerable to the effects of pipeline construction. For this reason, because they cannot meet State Water Quality Standards, the DEQ has abdicated to the Army Corps Nationwide water quality permit. (Art by Allie Kelly)
Sacred Places Map, Point #4: Shale Barren Rock Cress. 'Shale Barrens' are globally uncommon natural communities that host many rare species of plants and butterflies. One Shale Barren plant in particular, the Shale barren Rock Cress, grows only in Virginia and West Virginia. Listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, this native plant would likely go extinct in Virginia if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline were to pass. (Artwork by Isabel Zermani)
Sacred Places Map, Point #6: Becci's One Acre. Becci was 23 years into a 30 year mortgage on her 1 acre home in Augusta County when, in 2014, she received a piece of mail from Dominion notifying her that the ACP would be cutting directly through her property. The highly flammable 42” pipeline, would end 8 feet away from her deck. Becci is one example of many landowners along the proposed pipeline route who are now fighting to protect their homes, their rights and their safety. (Artwork by Sam Gray)
Sacred Places Map, Point #7: Gardner Spring, Staunton. Every spring and well has a water source from underground, called a Recharge Area, where water replenishes itself. The recharge area for the Staunton Public water supply is Gardner Spring. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is proposed to run directly through this recharge area, dangerously interfering with Staunton’s water supply by cutting through the filtration system of Karst, a latticework of limestone, much like swiss-cheese under the ground, which is the birthplace for good, clean water. (Artwork by Steve Taylor)
Sacred Places Map, Point #9: Hazel Palmer's Rock Walls. Appalachian settlers in the 1800s crafted rock walls to mark boundaries and hold livestock as they built their lives into the Blue Ridge. The most intact series of these walls remain on the private property of Hazel Palmer, an 84 year old widow whose grandmother purchased the property in 1880. As Hazel describes it: “My family has taken care of the property with great pride.” Hazel’s land is the proposed staging area for the tunnel drilling under the Blue Ridge Parkway, threatening her home and these historic rock walls. (Artwork by Tamara Lacey)
Sacred Places Map, Point #10: Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway. At a point along the proposed route, the ACP plans to drill through the Blue Ridge Mountains, creating a tunnel which would also run under parts of the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway. Hazel Palmer, an 84 year old whose property is the proposed staging site for this drilling, says: “I am devastated. It will no longer be the beautiful mountain it is now.” In addition to the visual harm done to our state treasures, this proposed drilling would cause forest fragmentation, deforestation, increased erosion and flooding and risk of collapse. (Artwork by John Bordan Evans)
Sacred Places Map, Point #8: Cochran's Mill Farm, Augusta County. On the Old Cochran’s Mill Farm, a historic farm in Augusta county dating back to the 1880’s Almanac, a series of waterfalls thrive, nestled in beautiful old growth trees. The ACP is proposed to bisect Cochran’s Mill farm, causing these waterfalls to be destroyed. (Artwork by Mary Ann Vessey)
Sacred Places Map, Point #11: Union Hill, Buckingham County. Here, in the heart of Virginia, an historic African American community surrounds former slave plantations which are now the chosen site of a proposed 31,515 horsepower gas compressor station. Many ancestors of this community bought their land before the end of the civil war and archeologists from Preservation Virginia assess that many more of are buried in some 100-200 unmarked graves. This, the only compressor station for the entire proposed pipeline in Virginia, is slated to be built in the middle of Union Hill. (Artwork by Arielle Lemons)
Sacred Places Map, Point #12: Endangered Wildlife. Since Dominion released its proposed plans to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in 2014, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has compiled a list of animal species which would be endangered by the project. Among this list are the Virginia Long-Eared Bat, the Golden Eagle, the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, the Madison Cave Isopod and the Bald Eagle. (Artwork by Cynthia Burke)
Sacred Places Map, Point #13: Eminent Domain. Private working farms in Virginia have received mail from Dominion Power, similar to the mail Becci received in 2014, alerting them to the proposed pipeline and the ways it would obstruct, devalue and infringe upon their land. Dominion reports that it has negotiated easements with landowners along approximately 60% of the route. That means it will exercise eminent domain on properties along 40% of the route, which equals about 1,000 private landowners in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. (Artwork by Isabelle Abbot)
Sacred Places Map, Point #14: West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is proposed to span 600 miles through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, requiring a permanently cleared 75 foot easement, leaving 5,400 acres of forest and farmland lost forever. Dominion has no viable action plan addressing the extreme risk of toxic leaks and explosions, especially as the infrastructure ages. (Artwork by Mihr Danae)