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Floyd County’s Ground Water Is Unique and Vulnerable

“Ground water is the source for all public water supplies serving Floyd County residents. Ground water supplies are divided into northwestern and southeastern sections according to the subsurface configuration and composition of the bedrock. Floyd County lacks true aquifers; it relies instead on water-filled fractures….the risks of contamination in any shallow wells are significant.” (written into law by Floyd County government.)

http://www.floydcova.org/compplannov14/chapter3.pdf

Fortunately, someone official at one point in time made the effort to preserve Floyd’s natural resources – considering things like our water source as important. After watching the disturbing documentary ‘Gasland’ a couple of nights ago, I was alarmed at the response of the gas and pipeline company’s when residents water supply was no longer drinkable, “Move!” they said.  And their elected officials had been offered 6 figure salaries to go work for these same corporations.

Which is why I was thrilled to hear Karen Maute make this statement in an email last night, “Not only are you working to protect water for residential and farming use…You are working to protect Floyd County’s future growth and economic development.  At present, it appears that Floyd Co. may have it’s human heath, agricultural productivity and future economic growth and development significantly, negatively impacted, more so than any other county in VA, due to…its unique and vulnerable water resources.”

Floyd water is special.  It does not come from a deep protected aquifer miles under ground, may wells are considered shallow even if they are hundreds of feet.  Our water runs into the rivers and streams of many counties downstream of us. We take that responsibility seriously. We don’t want to jeopardize anyone, in Floyd or any other county, with a risky pipeline project.

Folks in Floyd County have always protected our water supply. That’s why it’s so good and clean now. We understand that our children and grandchildren will be inheriting unique underground water sources, wells, and springs, which is the main reason we oppose the fracked gas pipeline project.

 This is a continuation of Fred First’s previous article, Confluence: Water and the Pipeline, please read.

 

Jeff Walker Speaks Out

in a letter to the Roanoke Times (Posted in on Saturday, September 27, 2014 2:00 am. )

Public needs to know more about pipeline

By Jeff Walker

Walker lives in Floyd County

Business reporters from The Roanoke Times or other media might give greater consideration to the public’s concern and need for coverage of pipeline routing, construction and operation proposals. Landowners and localities whose property is threatened with condemnation are entitled to the objective analysis of economic benefit, compensation for taking and use of property, including protection of resources, or mitigation planning against unintended or inevitable damage.

In the event a route is proposed, an objective Federal Environmental Impact Statement will be requested by communities along the route. An EIS requires that prospective impacts be understood and disclosed in advance. The EIS reports on the purpose, affected environment and range of alternatives, and analyzes the impacts of each of the alternative solutions.

It also determines whether there are insurmountable impacts to threatened or endangered species, air and water quality, historic and cultural sites, and reports on social and economic impacts to local communities. And finally, the issues are laid bare with a cost analysis.

There is no history of a pipeline of the Mountain Valley’s capacity crossing the full width of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Evaluation must be predicated upon the consortium’s retention of a reputable and objective firm to report upon the engineering challenges, risks and attributes of an easement route. Despite FERC’s 2002 approval of Dominion’s Greenbriar proposal, contractual obligations were not sufficient to support construction. Ironically, FERC heard criticism of that market analysis prior to rendering approval.

An EIS should be subject to a period of review, rebuttal or comment by the public, who are entitled to consider information and access a reliable process of arbitration to settle any conflicting claims.

Citizens have more questions than answers: How are easements valued? Does compensation to working lands accrue over the short or long term? Do pipelines pay tolls on product conveyed across private property? Do localities tax pipeline infrastructure, product, real estate, personal or business property? May the commonwealth tax revenue of an out-of-state joint venture or holding company? Who pays local taxes for land under easement? Who is liable for damages caused by construction or accident? Are pipeline owners or contractors required to post bond or other commitments to enforce contract provisions?

The General Assembly enacted legislation in 2004 granting rights of entry onto private land to utilities with certain requirements. However, the voters endorsed a state constitutional amendment in 2012 changing the eminent domain process to provide landowners protection from private takings. In light of these powers, does the State Corporation Commission have a voice, or is this solely a federal process?

FERC does not require a pipeline to propose local service, nor is this aspect sufficient to warrant a finding that the pipeline is in the public interest.

Local distribution is not well understood; is this a profit-driven investment? Is there a break-even analysis? In the case of distribution taps serving Carroll or Pulaski County, were public funds granted or loaned to offset capital costs?

Floyd County’s population does not have natural gas service, and while some suggest gas might serve an industrial or commercial customer, the cost of developing the tap is rumored to be greater than a public or private utility could amortize on economic merit. The entire population does rely upon well water; is there any comparison with economics of public water distribution?

The public would be well served by research and reporting of conflicting interests, data and statements.

That is the American way: State your business, present your offer and establish that you are diligent and are entitled to develop your interests without damaging others.

We are counting on the media to provide substantial, informed and accurate reporting on these important issues.

Attend a Meeting

Upcoming Gatherings

  • October 14 –Joe Waldo, a lawyer specializing in eminent domain, will visit Floyd. You can come see him—and ask questions – at the Floyd County High School at 7 PM.
  • October 28 at 7 PM – Representatives from EQT will be attending the Floyd County Board of Supervisors meeting. The meeting will be held at the Floyd County High School Auditorium.
  • Between now and October 28, citizens are encouraged to come to the Floyd Artisan’s Market on Fridays from 5-7 PM to create signs, sing songs and practice for the spectacle we’d like to present to EQT as they roll into town.

 

Past Events

Gasland 2 : A Documentary on Fracking Sep 28, 6 PM

Water Movie Event at Floyd EcoVillage, Sept 14, 4 PM

Montgomery County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday Night, Aug 25, 7:15 PM

Community Meeting Regarding Pipeline Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7 PM

Get Involved

For those of you who want to help, we want you to know that there’s a lot you CAN do to help! One thing EVERYONE can do is to talk to your friends & neighbors.  And if you have some more time…

1 Minute Task

Social Media (facebook etc) Like us on Facebook, share a message, link or image that gets the word out about how dangerous this pipeline would be to our community.

15 Minute Task

Write a Letter to the Editor – our newspaper is willing to publish your opinion and our community needs to hear from more than one person. Here are some Guidelines.

25 Minute Task

Write a Letter to a Political Official – these days letters make more of a statement than emails, but either works. Use our Letter Writing Toolkit to help you draft an short, simple, yet effective letter in no time.

1 Hour + Tasks

Man a Booth, Come to an Event, Join a Committee – your participation is vital, the more bodies present at an event the better. Contact us to participate.

28 COUNTIES DRINK OUR WATER, WASH THEIR BABIES, GROW THEIR FOOD

IMG_0089GreenHoleGooseCreek980

Looking out from the top of Polly’s Garden
I could barely see the Buffalo
3rd day straight of the end of summer’s rain
wondering where the lifetimes go

This ain’t the first time
our land has been forsaken
it’s what this fine nation
was founded on

If I look close enough
I can still see the blood on my hands
forgive me God,
I’m ready to steward your land

28 counties drink our water
wash their babies, grow their food
from these headwaters it flows ten thousand miles
ain’t no time to sit and brood

‘Cause we got trouble in the mountain valley
this is bigger than our backyard
this is raping all that we’ve come to preserve
time to join hands both near and far

Nelson County, Franklin and Montgomery,
Rockbridge River, the James and the New
protect our lifeline, keep our waters pristine
we owe our children, we owe it to you

This ain’t about money
it goes much deeper
our bodies are water
the rivers our veins

Our hearts are wider
than the deepest lakes in this land
let’s stand for something
let’s stake our claims

From West Virginia
to Pittsylvania
let’s stretch our arms
longer than their line

We are caretakers
there’s nothing here you can touch
our crystal palace
is nothing you can buy

So drink deeply
and feel the sustenance
let Gods love
pour over you

We’re being called upon
there’s nothing greater than this
raise your hands and ask what you can do
raise your hands and ask what you can do

Raise our hands
it’s up to me and you

http://www.wsls.com/story/26636386/bigmama-joy

Excellent Presentations by Preserve the NRV on the Mt Valley Pipeline

This is the video of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors meeting on September 22. Wil and Angela Stanton were on the agenda with Elizabeth McCommon to inform the supervisors about the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the negative impacts it will have on Montgomery County and the NRV. Elizabeth’s presentation begins 6 minutes into the video and Wil and Angela’s presentation begins at just under the 16 minute mark. After the presentation, you will also be able to watch comments from concerned citizens (beginning at the 40 minute mark) who were able to share their perspectives with the board.

 

Our First Newsletter!

Our first newsletter was delivered to many of you last night!

If you use gmail, you may need to check your promotions tab and approve the address in order to have it sent directly to your inbox. You may also want to check your spam folder if you use a different email server.

Here is a copy for those of you who have not signed up for the newsletter here on our website or given us your request at an event.

PRESERVE FLOYD: CITIZENS PRESERVING FLOYD COUNTY NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2014

Thanks so much for your patience with Preserve Floyd: Citizens Preserving Floyd Countyas we compiled this newsletter for you. There’s been a lot to keep up with and we appreciate that you’ve kept yourself informed through our website, our Facebook page and each other in the meantime. We intend to have updates via email more frequently as we move forward.

The environment is on everyone’s mind right now as the largest ever “People’s Climate March” strode through NYC and the issue entered into the dialogue in a more urgent manner. The Mountain Valley pipeline is the dragon standing on OUR mountain right now, and it is its own beast—but it’s also part of climate change. It’s intended to carry fracked gas and it deserves to be seen as a part of this larger issue. As we come together and agree to work towards sustainable energy solutions and to be environmental advocates for the continued health and well-being of our community, we also commit to work together to protect this land that we all love.

That means: STOP THE PIPELINE.

Here are some important upcoming events and we’ll share more as we create more:

  • On September 28, Sustain Floyd will be presenting the film “Gasland 2 .” Preserve Floyd will be represented there to share information, answer questions and educate ourselves and each other. Doors will open at 6 PM for food and conversation. A donation of $5 is requested for the movie and an additional $5 for the dinner The film will start around 6:30 to 6:45 PM.
  • Joe Waldo, a lawyer specializing in eminent domain, will visit Floyd on October 14. You can come see him—and ask questions – at the Floyd County High School at 7 PM.
  • Representatives from EQT will be attending the Floyd County Board of Supervisors meeting on October 28 at 7 PM. The meeting will be held at the Floyd County High School Auditorium.
  • Between now and October 28, citizens are encouraged to come to the Floyd Artisan’s Market on Fridays from 5-7 PM to create signs, sing songs and practice for the spectacle we’d like to present to EQT as they roll into town.

For those of you who want to help, we want you to know that there’s a lot you CAN do to help! We are just figuring out (as quickly as possible!) what, where, when and how. So keep asking and keep offering and keep sharing information.

One thing EVERYONE can do is to talk to your neighbors.

Pass this newsletter along. Keep updated on Facebook and share links, graphics and good connections. Join the Mountain-Valley Pipeline or the Virginians Against Pipelines discussion groups and engage. Social media is helping this movement tremendously. And if you know of landowners who might not have access to the internet, print out a copy of our landowner’s handbook or any other pertinent online information.

And write letters! We have a new “Letters to the Editor Toolkit” on our website that will help with that. Coming soon: A similar toolkit to assist with writing letters to politicians. The more the better. The more personal the better. And letters—actual letters—make much more of an impression than emails these days.

The very deepest of appreciation to each and every one of you who have attended community meetings, signed petitions, lent a hand at events and are committed to keeping yourself informed, active and participating. It is inspiring and encouraging to live in a community where so many people want to be involved.

Confluence: Water and the Pipeline

BY FRED FIRST

Many of you attended the showing of “To the Last Drop,” the locally-filmed Floyd County water documentary shown at the Eco-village on September 14.The ideas and interviews for that film started in the summer of 2013 long before there was any knowledge of Mountain Valley’s proposed interstate pipeline.So it was well timed that Partnership for Floyd’s efforts culminated with the premier showing at just the time that our water–and that of all impacted and down-stream counties–was rising to the top of Preserve Floyd’s concerns.

We began to consider the impact of natural gas pipelines on the water across more than 800 miles of landscape threatened by the combined length of Mountain Valley and the Atlantic Coast Pipelines.

While our attention still resonates with voices, places, hopes and concerns from the movie, let me just say a bit more about water as we continue to be vigilant against any forces or agencies that put tomorrow’s water at risk.

Towards that end, I’ll share a “this I believe” kind of statement I wrote recently in the process of trying to distill my thoughts:

Ninety-five percent of Floyd County residents get their water from wells. From an injury to any one, other neighbors can suffer. So we are vigilant to protect our ground and surface waters today, even as we also look ahead. Adequate clean water in our county is a right, far into the future, that we are not willing to put at risk. And as we care for the water that falls on this plateau, we are also mindful of its quality as it passes through communities between here and the Gulf or the Atlantic. Ultimately, water is a shared necessity to life that we care for together across space and across time.

Our actions to insure that our waters are protected today become a legacy of reliable water for generations to come. Water, adequate and clean, is a right, not a commodity. We are committed to the water commons, and resist any threats to it, from whatever source they might come.

Consider carefully these ten water-commons principles. They guide us towards sustained water stewardship that we stand FOR. The current frenzy of unsustainable over-building of natural gas wells, holding ponds and pipeline construction right-of-ways are not consistent with these water principles, and represent values, purposes, methods and ends that we stand AGAINST.