Category Archives: Stay Informed

Climate Campaign launched

Preserve Floyd returned to the Floyd Town Council on July 6, 2017, with a formal request for Mayor Griffin to join the National Climate Action Agenda, the “Mayor’s Movement,” a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support measures to combat global warming. Preserve Floyd presented a 7-page community choice resolution which detailed a comprehensive agenda for local action. In support, a petition with 100 signatures was presented to the council.

Nationwide, aproximately 338 mayors have agreed to participate in this crucial action.

Today’s request by Preserve Floyd is just the first step in a series of more comprehensive ordinances that will continue to support a smooth transition to renewable energy as well as providing protection for Floyd’s unique and fragile water system.

J.L. Fogo, co-chair of Preserve Floyd, pointed out: “Given that we are located on the continental divide, Continue reading Climate Campaign launched

Breaking News

Pipeline Company Sued for Criminal Negligence

Last week, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office filed criminal charges against EQT Corporation, a partner in the Mountain Valley Pipeline. EQT Corporation’s production division is charged with multiple counts of polluting waters and disturbance of waterways.

The company allowed five million gallons of fracking chemicals to leak into Tioga County, PA, streams such as the Rock Run Class A trout stream. The leaks were discovered in May, 2012, but EQT Corporation did not take appropriate steps to clean up contamination from fracking wastewater containing barium, copper, manganese, chloride, strontium, arsenic, iron, lithium, and lead. Two years later, following demands from a coalition of environmental and business groups to take action, criminal charges have been filed by the State of Pennsylvania.

Are these people we want in Floyd County? One more reason to say NO to EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline

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.

Confluence: Water and the Pipeline

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 the next generations. 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 thoughtfully these ten water-commons principles. They guide us towards a dedication to continued water stewardship that we stand FOR. The current frenzy of 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.

Pass it On...
If you find any resonance with this commitment to stand our ground for our water, please share it with your social media contacts, friends, neighbors, churches and organizations.