This letter is intended to inform property owners, taxpayers and officials of Pocahontas County that the current proposal and path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has little or no benefits for this county and, in fact, has some very serious negative consequences regarding potential hazards, and other impacts as follows:
1. Water: With the few exceptions of town water, our major potable water sources are tied to Karst limestone areas which have numerous underground “pipe lines” (and caves) that channel the water to our wells and springs. This underground “honeycomb” is extremely fragile and susceptible to natural changes as the Karst erodes due to acidic water. Unnatural changes to the Karst such as blasting, boring, and digging can divert water from your well or spring and/or contaminate the water supply. This type of unnatural change cannot be reversed nor can water be magically found to replace the damage.
With this in mind, the risk of losing our water supply means that we not only lose water, we lose our homes which cannot exist w/o water and our land becomes worthless.
This is a bad risk.
2. Eminent Domain: People who refuse to sell their real estate or right-of-way for the pipeline, run the risk of Eminent Domain being imposed. Since this pipeline does not service our county or provide any long term benefits, this action would be disgraceful and likely unconstitutional.
3. Safety: LPG (liquid petroleum gas) is stored and shipped under very high pressure. Any leak in storage or pipelines can result in an explosion. In the case of the pipe line this is known as the “Blast Radius” (zone) which varies from 825 to 1,100 feet depending upon the pipeline operating pressure which varies from 800 to 1,500 psi for 42” diameter pipe. The “Incineration Zone” is the full diameter of the explosion which is two times the blast radius (1,650 to 2,200 feet). In case of emergency, the “Evacuation Radius” is two (2) miles radius or four (4) miles total diameter.
Many factors can increase the estimated blast and incineration zones. These include residential homes, forests, other gas lines, utilities, businesses and industrial facilities. Forest fires carry a very high risk, especially during dry fall months.
4. Environmental: We will incur high risks due to stream pollution, mountain top removal, clear cutting in the pipeline path and loss of wild life areas.
5. Real Estate Values/Insurance: Homes and land within the pipe line area, including the blast, will depreciate in value due to being within the blast zone; or even in sight of the pipe line whereas insurance rates will increase for obvious reasons.
6. Propane Prices: Current local prices are fairly low for our propane (WV produced). Most likely and logically, the cost of propane will greatly increase to WV users as Virginia and North Carolina take the bulk of WV production thru the pipeline. In other words, our propane will benefit states other than WV.
In conclusion, given the foregoing information, it does not make rational sense to install the Atlantic Coast Pipeline through Pocahontas County, unless it can be accomplished without incurring the risks as outlined above.