Spectra Energy of Houston has announced plans for a 36″ transmission pipeline, pushing up to 1.1 Bcf/d of fracked gas under high-pressure through the Virginia Piedmont, impacting Fauquier, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison, Orange and Albemarle counties on its 427-mile route from the Marcellus Shale gas fields in West Virginia to a Duke Energy facility in North Carolina.

The issues are numerous and complex. Rural Madison respectfully encourages citizens (whether you are in favor of the pipeline or not) to call upon the Board of Supervisors to convene a public hearing with Spectra BEFORE the FERC application is filed.

In the meantime, be wary of any attempt to use the threat of eminent domain as a negotiating tool.

Petition - Madison Board of Supervisors: Convene a public hearing on the proposed pipeline project! - GoPetition



Here are just a few of the many concerns that we’re hearing:

  • A clearcut right of way will divide and fragment forest and wildlife habitat. The pipeline will cross numerous watersheds, rivers, streams, springs, wetlands and riparian areas. Sediment erosion and leakage are potentially a permanent threat to water and air quality.
  • Surveys, blasting, excavation and construction of pipelines are done by experienced, out-of-state journeymen. Few, if any jobs will awarded to local workers.
  • Because of a 2004 Amendment to the Virginia Code (§ 56-49.01), natural gas companies take the position that they may survey private property without the consent of the property owner.
  • An easement may be granted through eminent domain with the property owner being left with restricted use of that easement. Conservation easements are no guarantee against eminent domain.
  • Property owners could see a decrease in property values due to restricted use of the easement. The visual impact of a wide clearcut (and possible surface structure occupancy) of the pipeline might further reduce property value.
  • Pipeline easements may potentially complicate and limit loan and mortgage possibilities.
  • Energy companies like Spectra prefer to pick off the opposition one-by-one. The last thing they want to do is to speak on the record in a public setting—that’s the stuff that movies are made of.
  • Natural gas production serves to continue our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels, further delaying widespread deployment of clean energy technologies.