Public hearing held for pipeline

A large crowd of Franklin County residents gathered at the Harvester Performance Center this past week for an informative meeting on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The meeting gave the public a chance to speak with representatives of the project and get a better understanding of what the pipeline would mean for the county.

If constructed, the Mountain Valley Pipeline would stretch 300 miles from West Virginia and into the Virginia counties of Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, and Franklin, before ending at a delivery point located in Pittsylvania County. The 42 inch in diameter pipeline would run underground and transport natural gas collected by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

The proposed path of the pipeline in Franklin County would run mostly along Route 40 as it makes its way into Pittsylvania County. The path is a concern for many county residents who are unwilling to have natural gas running through their property or the 75 feet of permanent easement for the pipeline. An additional 50 feet of easement would also be required during construction of the pipeline.

Several groups have formed in opposition of the pipeline. Dozens of opponents stood outside the Harvester this past Tuesday in opposition of the pipeline. Many were concerned the pipeline could harm the environment, others were concerned the pipeline could decrease property values. Many also feared that the pipeline could explode. While very rare, explosions have occurred with other natural gas pipelines over the years.

Bob Camicia, the Gills Creek representative on the Franklin County Board of Supervisors, attended the meeting with other supervisors. He agrees that there are some concerns with the pipeline coming through the county, but he believes there could be some benefit as well.

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