Greenbrier River Watershed Association to host public meeting in Hinton about proposed gas pipeline

The Greenbrier River Watershed Association (GRWA) will host a public meeting Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Summers County Memorial Building, 120 Ballengee Street in Hinton. The meeting is free and open to the public.

The purpose of the meeting is to educate residents about the natural gas pipeline proposed to come through the area, in this case, EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline. Presenters will discuss with residents how their property rights and values might be affected, and the environmental effects and safety issues of the pipelines. The Greenbrier watershed is in the crosshairs of two pipeline proposals. Dominion and EQT each have said they want to build a pipeline to transport natural gas from fracking wells to meet other lines or to serve new customers in Virginia, North Carolina and beyond. Both Dominion’s 550 mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline and EQT’s 300 mile Mountain Valley Pipeline would cross the Greenbrier River.

GRWA is hiring an outreach and education coordinator to work with their communities to let landowners know more about their options and to keep track of the proposals as they work their way through the federal regulatory process. Also, if eminent domain is granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to either or both projects, the group will help landowners find attorneys to represent them in the process if they so desire.

Additionally, the GRWA will look closely at all permits required, and if the pipeline goes into construction, they will monitor compliance with federal, state and local mandates. “The problem with putting such a big (42 inch diameter ) pipeline in steep terrain and pristine landscapes, with a lot of cave formations beneath them, is concern for degradation of surface waters, trout and other fisheries, and public and private drinking water supplies,” says GRWA coordinator Leslee McCarty.

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