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BEYONDD

SENTINEL

APRIL 2015

COMMUNITIES FIGHTING DOMINION ON ALL FRONTS
ALTERNATIVES ON THE HORIZON

Welcome to the Beyond Dominion Sentinel! This newsletter, to come out monthly,
will summarize the struggles of communities fighting Dominion Resources’ fracked gas
projects – whether pipelines, compressor stations, liquid natural gas (LNG)
export terminals or any other dirty energy projects of this $50 billion behemoth that is
running roughshod over all of us in one way or another. The Sentinel’s goal is to share
the reality of what we’re up against, share information that other groups may find
useful and build a stronger grassroots opposition.
is a project of Beyond
Extreme Energy, a group that came
together in 2014 and carried out a
week of direct action at FERC, the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in Washington, D.C., to highlight that agency’s rubber-stamping
of just about every fracked gas proposal that comes before it. We’re
currently organizing for a much bigger action for May 21-29 in order to
force FERC to take community concerns as seriously as it takes corporate conniving. We hope many of
you will join us at the FERCus. For
more information, including our
proposals for reforming FERC, visit
us at beyondextremeenergy.org.
This first issue will highlight five
of the groups working to protect
their communities from Dominion.
There are many more, and we plan
to include them in future newsletters. Get in touch with us at
info@beyondextremeenergy.org.

THE SENTINEL

Myersville
Citizens for a Rural
Community

Interview with Ann Nau,
Vice President
WE ARE a grassroots community organization in a little town of 1,600
people in Frederick County, Mary-

land. We formed in response to a
plan to build and operate a 16,000
hp compressor station within the
town limits, one mile from our only
elementary school. The PL1
pipeline going through town is a
wholly owned subsidiary of Dominion Resources, called Dominion
Transmission, Inc., or DTI. It comes
down from “Frackland,” Pennsylvania, and connects to the Cove Point
pipeline, Dominion’s major pipeline. When FERC examines projects, it only considers the area a
half-mile from the site, which is
completely arbitrary, so it didn’t
count the school. Dominion needed
a zoning variance.
When our town council unanimously denied a zoning variance
for the project, DTI sued the town,
and FERC used the power of fed-

eral preemption to force this project on us.
We’re still trying to work with
the town to pass some safety regulations. The town was sued by Dominion early on, so we feel town
officials are perhaps a little hesitant
to do much more because of that.
We know that nitrogen oxides
cause respiratory problems, heart
conditions and lung damage.
Volatile organic compounds are carcinogenic and toxic, and can damage
the liver, kidney and central nervous
system, and can combine with nitrogen oxides to form ground-level
ozone, which can cause asthma and
decrease lung function. Sulfur dioxide is a principal contributor to acid
rain and reacts with other chemicals
to form particulate pollution,
which can damage lungs and cause

PHOTO COURTESY DC MEDIA GROUP

Meet some of the communities
fighting Dominion!

BXEers carry the panels showing families in the path of FERC-approved projects.

CONTACT INFO:

mcrcmd.org
or on Facebook at
Myersville CItizens
for a Rural Community
gascompressornews@gmail.com
PO Box 158,
Myersville, MD 21773

Friends of Nelson

Interview with Ernie Reed, Vice President of Friends of Nelson County, and
President of Wild Virginia
DOMINION’S Atlantic Coast Pipeline
(ACP) is currently routed through
four counties in western Virginia—

Highland, Augusta, Nelson and
Buckingham—up to the West Virginia line.
Our entire county is based on
tourism and recreation. Dominion
wants to slice this thing across the
Appalachian Trail, across the Blue
Ridge Parkway and through 30
miles of national forest. Our Board
of Supervisors voted to oppose the
pipeline. Wild Virginia filed a petition for rehearing of the FERC decision at Cove Point, based on the
fact that the cumulative effects of
the ACP, the Mountain Valley
pipeline and the Marcellus pipeline
weren’t considered in the environmental assessment for Cove Point.
We created Friends of Nelson in
June 2014 so we could
file a lawsuit. We
wanted to be sure we
had standing that individuals might not have.
An amendment to the
Virginia constitution in
2005 gave gas companies the right to survey
owners’ property even
if they deny access.
Three lawsuits are pending against
that. Almost 80 percent of homeowners along the original route in
Nelson County denied access. Dominion is currently working on
those who gave permission or whom
they haven’t reached yet.
Recently, Dominion released a
second possible route for the ACP
through Nelson County without
taking the first proposed route off
the table, which doubled the number of potentially affected property

owners. We strongly encourage
everyone to deny permission to survey through certified, returnreceipt letters. We believe this is
the most effective, immediate action you can take right now to protect your property. Please don’t
hesitate to contact us if you have
any questions about refusing permission to survey by emailing
friendsofnelson@gmail.com.
We have a paid membership of
800, and we have 1,400 people in
our database. Our steering committee meets at least every other week;
we hold public meetings every two
to three weeks.
Besides education, outreach and
networking, we started a legal fund
to help property owners defend their rights.
We’ve retained an attorney, and also raised
money to do a study of
the impacts to business and property
owners in Nelson and
Augusta counties.
Addendum from
Joanna Salidis, President of Friends of Nelson:
At FERC’s March 18 scoping
meeting in Nelson County, 203 people signed up to speak, but FERC
heard only the first 78, due to time
constraints. All but three out of the
first 20 speakers were pro-pipeline;
as this ratio does not reflect the
sentiment in our county, and as not
a single speaker following the first
20 was pro-pipeline, we can safely
conclude that the speaker signups were orchestrated to stack the

TOP: LEFT PHOTO COURTESY ANN NAU; MIDDLE COURTESY DC MEDIA GROUP; RIGHT BY PHIL CUNNINGHAM; BOTTOM: PHOTO BY KATHY VERSLUYS

respiratory illness, heart conditions
and premature death.
The compressor station has already exceeded its permitted noise
level, and the company has a year to
fix that. Two weeks after the station
was put in service, DTI announced
that it plans to increase compression by 15,900 hp. DTI claims that it
will keep emissions levels at its currently permitted amounts by installing special emission controls.
They knew the way to get it through
FERC was to segment the project
and make it look smaller.
The citizens of Myersville believe
that the FERC process is a failed
process that does not serve the public interest but the interest of the
industry. The FERC process arose
from the energy crisis of the 1970s
and is an outdated, ineffective and
meaningless exercise that fails to
adequately examine projects.

MAP COURTESY DOMINION RESOURCES

Left to right:
Myersville defenders; Cove
Point defenders, Nov. 10;
Suspended
with banner,
Phil Cunningham of Richmond Resistance, Feb. 23.

beginning of the meeting with propipeline speakers in order to distort
the media’s reporting and limit
speakers opposed
to the pipeline.
FERC’s officer of
external affairs told
me sign-ups to
speak would start
shortly before 7
p.m. However, they
actually started
around 4 p.m., and
those who showed
up as late as 7 p.m.,
when the meeting
started, were too
far down in the list
to speak!
Speakers gave
impassioned and informed comments regarding the scope for the
environmental impact statement,
advocating to include an investigation into Dominion’s ethics and
business practices; the health effects of compressor stations; quantitative analyses on life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from the
extraction, transmission and burning of natural gas; environmental
effects of fracking; and a clear enumeration and analysis of purported
public “need” and benefit.
Many landowners on the route expressed grave concerns regarding
safety, disturbance of drinking water
sources, pollution from sediment
and erosion, loss of scenery, loss of
property values and loss of economic
opportunity. Only one landowner
who spoke (the first speaker of the
evening) was pro-pipeline. Many of

the others voiced strongly that their
property was priceless to them, and
they would never negotiate with Dominion.
CONTACT INFO:

friendsofnelson.org
or on Facebook at
Friends of Nelson
friendsofnelson@
gmail.com
PO Box 33
Nellysford, VA 22958

We Are
Cove Point
Interview with
Steve Norris

Extreme Energy carried out our week of action at FERC
in early November, many of us
helped establish We Are Cove
Point, a group made up of people
opposed to Dominion’s Cove Point
LNG export terminal and gas refinery in Lusby, Maryland, on the
shores of the Chesapeake Bay. We
are allied with the local residents
fighting the project through Calvert
Citizens for a Healthy Community.
We have raised money to hire a local
organizer and helped canvass the
community to raise awareness and
let people know that the project is
not a done deal as many
have assumed. Twenty of us
were arrested in November
and December in nonviolent
actions in Lusby, at locations
key to Dominion carrying
out its plans. At our trials
before two different judges
AFTER BEYOND

in February, we tried but were denied the use of a necessity
defense—that we acted to prevent a
greater harm—and were sentenced
to three years’ probation and stiff
fines, both of which are much
harsher than the usual penalties for
such actions. We know that if Dominion succeeds, fracking will increase dramatically throughout the
Marcellus shale, many communities
will continue to suffer, and more
will be added to the list.
CONTACT INFO:

wearecovepoint.org or on
Facebook at We Are Cove Point
PO Box 101
Lusby, Md 20657

Calvert Citizens for a
Healthy Community

Interview with Tracey Eno,
spokesperson for CCHC
IN OCTOBER 2013, Chesapeake Climate Action Network hosted a town
hall meeting in Lusby that really
woke some of us in the community
up to what Dominion was planning
in terms of refining gas and exporting it. It profoundly affects everything: our families, our health, our
home values, our neighborhood
and our community. I’m a business
owner; it also affects my
business and my livelihood.
CCHC began in January 2014. The group
started with concerned
citizens who had attended
the town halls and two

PHOTOS COURTESY DC MEDIA GROUP

At a time when the world’s leadsham “public hearings” presented canvassed neighborhoods, held
by Calvert County government, press conferences and looked for ing scientists have insisted on
phasing out fossil fuels within the
where the agenda was pre-set to fissures in the plan.
We are awaiting FERC’s decision next 15 years in order to mitigate
hear public comments, immediately
close the record and approve the on Earthjustice’s request for a re- rising sea levels and other effects
proposals (without discussing com- hearing, submitted in October. Un- of climate change, Virginia is doing
ments). It was apparent that our lo- til that ruling, the legal process is at less than the bare minimum to
cal government was “all in” and a standstill. A request was made si- move toward a sustainable future.
supported the Dominion project at multaneously to stay construction, With Dominion’s political influence at an all-time high (see our
every turn. The Board of County which has been ignored.
We continue to press for a safety story in this newsletter about the
Commissioners (BoCC) signed a
non-disclosure agreement 14 study, air and water monitoring, a outcome of this year’s legislative
months before we knew anything new evacuation road, and improved session), Virginia communities
from the coasts to the mountain
about the Dominion plan. The transparency of local government.
BoCC waived zoning laws (later
valleys are taking the brunt of Dominion’s greed and inaction. The
challenged in court and ruled to be
CONTACT INFO:
ACP will tear through generations
unconstitutional). The BoCC gave
calvertcitizens.org
of family homes and history, will
Dominion a 42 percent tax break.
or on Facebook at Calvert
increase the likelihood of soil and
They were convinced that the tax
Citizens for a Healthy Community
water contamination and gas exmoney would fix their budget
calvertchc@gmail.com
plosions, and will accelerate exdeficit, and the “local jobs” would
treme greenhouse gas emissions.
be a boon to county residents.
Likewise, coastal communities in
In spite of CCHC members tes- Richmond
Norfolk, Virginia Beach and the
tifying 20 times at weekly public Resistance
Eastern Shore are second only to
comment sessions, there is still no From its press release
updated safety study. The local au- ON THE EARLY MORNING of February Louisiana in vulnerability to sea
thorities say that we should trust 23, a group of more than 50 local level rise, and now may face the adDominion’s self-reporting and and regional Virginia activists oper- ditional threat of offshore oil and
FERC’s safety oversight, but Do- ating as Richmond Resistance con- gas drilling.
Virginia will play a critical role
minion was just fined $365,000 by verged on Dominion’s trading
the EPA for multiple releases of headquarters to oppose the At- in fighting climate disruption and
ammonia that went unreported for lantic Coast Pipeline and blockade building strong, sustainable coma long time. How can we trust the selling of our future. Activists munities for our futures. For that
them?
held the space for more than three reason, we are all climate protecDominion wants us to think that hours with banners, flag waving, tors. Richmond Resistance stands
exporting is as simple as flipping a climbers hanging from a bridge, in solidarity with all those opposed
switch to turn from import to ex- theatrical puppets and street block- to extreme energy infrastructure,
port. But it’s a $3.8 billion invest- ades. Ten people were arrested: including the proposed ACP and
ment. The company will build a nine with traffic citations for block- the Cove Point LNG export termiliquefaction train and gas refinery, ing the roadway and one for disor- nal. Their intent is to expose
Dominion’s corrupt influence on
which will create air pollution and derly conduct.
carry the risk of exploVirginia energy policy,
sions.
protect frontline comCCHC held weekly
munities from further
meetings in 2014 to share
dirty fossil fuel expanresearch and strategize.
sion and push for
Starting in 2015, meetings
zero-emission reneware held every two weeks
able energy in the
Commonwealth of Virand feature speakers,
which have included the
ginia.
captain of the Calvert
Here’s a great local
County Sheriff’s Special
TV news story about
Operations Team, nationthe action:
ally renowned attorneys to
discuss nuisance lawsuits,
http://wtvr.com/2015/02/
and other experts. We
23/demonstrators-createhave written letters to the
blockade-downtown-ineditor, spoken at every
protest-of-atlantic-coasthearing, submitted written Six Cove Point defenders scale a dirt hill at Dominion's construction
pipeline/
testimony, attended rallies, site and are arrested.

NEWS BYTES

FINDING AN ALLY
IN THE AG
NEWLY ELECTED Maryland Attorney
General Brian Frosh entered the
fight over hydraulic fracturing in
Maryland on February 25, urging
state lawmakers to pass a bill with
liability standards so tough that
critics and some supporters consider it a de facto fracking ban. The
moratorium on fracking imposed
by former Governor Martin O’Malley ended before he left office in
January, and the current governor,
Larry Hogan, has not said whether
he would go forward with the regulations as written. But he has said
that he believes fracking can be
done safely and would bring jobs to
economically depressed Western
Maryland. Most previous attempts
at a ban have been blocked in the
Senate’s Education, Health and
Environmental Affairs committee
by its chairwoman, Democratic
Sen. Joan Carter Conway of Baltimore.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/
green/blog/bs-md-frosh-fracking20150225-story.html

REGULATORS CAN REVERSE
THEMSELVES—THIS IS WHAT WE
WANT FOR COVE POINT!
CITING THE RISK of oil spills, fires and
explosions, a county examiner ruled
on February 23 that Shell’s plan for
an oil-train terminal at its Anacortes, Washington, refinery must
get a full environmental review. The
move reflects growing concerns
about the safety of the long oil trains

FERCUS

that are carrying North Dakota oil to
refineries on the U.S. east and west
coasts. The Skagit County examiner
noted that similar, already completed projects were not subject to
the full environmental review, but
that subsequent oil-train accidents
make further risk analysis necessary.

free! It’s called Getting to Yes for
the corporations, Getting to No for
communities. How about a seminar
for communities to help them resist greedy corporations’ assaults?

AMIDST SECRECY, DOMINION
GETS ITS WAY IN VIRGINIA’S 2015
LEGISLATIVE SESSION
http://insideclimatenews.org/
DOMINION RESOURCES Inc., “the
state’s most politically influential
news/27022015/2015-oilcompany” according to this news
industry-rough-start
source, got just about everything it
wanted from this year’s legislative
session.
WHAT FERC THINKS
The centerpiece of Dominion’s
OF COMMUNITIES
FERC SENT the following announcelegislative package was a bill sponment last fall to companies that are sored by Virginia Beach Republipursuing permits with the agency:
can Sen. Frank Wagner that locks
“Do you have conflict in your current base rates into place for at
pipeline work—maybe with a prop- least seven years by exempting the
erty owner? Then this pre-seminar company from regular rate reviews
training is for you! Conby the State Corporaflict resolution specialtion Commission.
ists from FERC’s DisMost negotiations
pute Resolution Division
on Wagner’s bill were
(DRD) offer you an opconducted in private
portunity to share conmeetings with a select
flict experiences and
group of stakeholders—
challenges from your
including a sit-down
everyday work and learn
between Virginia Govabout skills to overcome
ernor Terry McAuliffe
conflict. This interactive
and Dominion CEO
training aims to:
Thomas Farrell II.
Also, legislation
aimed at limiting Do1. Explore and A protester in Annapolis
practice strategies to address con- minion’s ability to go on property
flict early on and reach agreement owners’ land to survey for the proamicably.
posed Atlantic Coast Pipeline
2. Strategize for dealing across the Blue Ridge Mountains
with difficult behavior using your also died a quick death. It was
examples.
championed by Friends of Nelson
3. Tell you more about the and other groups opposed to the
DRD and how we might help!
ACP.
4. Enhance your negotiation
http://bit.ly/1CrF2jw
and communication skills.”
[Editorial comment] And it’s