By Patrick Smith, New Castle Record
NEW CASTLE – Opposition to a proposed pipeline that would pass through Craig County is growing, and a group of concerned citizens has organized and plans to present a petition to the Craig County Board of Supervisors at its March 5 meeting.
Citizens to Preserve Craig County, the same group that organized to stop a 765 kV electrical line from being built in Craig County in the 1990s, is now banding together against the proposed 36-42-inch in diameter Mountain Valley Pipeline and other natural gas lines that might pass through the county.
Bill Wolf, a spokesperson for the group, told The New Castle Record Monday that Citizens to Preserve Craig County has posted a petition online at http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/preservecraigcounty and printed hard copies that are available to sign at local businesses like J’s Market and The Emporium. The petition asks the Craig County Board of Supervisors to oppose the pipeline’s construction.
An email containing the petition and other information about Mountain Valley Pipeline, a joint venture between EQT Corporation and NextEra U.S. Gas Assets, was sent to 300 people Sunday, and Wolf reported that as of Monday morning the group had already solicited around 100 signatures.
Mountain Valley Pipeline’s latest proposed route spans over 300 miles and goes from Wetzel County, W.Va., to a TRANSCO transmission line in Pittsylvania County. Citizens to Preserve Craig cited the threats to water supply, potential dangers to families and communities from possible explosions or gas leaks, and reduced property values and loss of landowner rights as reasons to halt the pipeline construction process.
Several citizens of Craig have already reportedly received such letters from Mountain Valley Pipeline officials asking for contact and other information. The group is advising these citizens to seek legal advice before corresponding with the pipeline companies.
Wolf said Citizens to Preserve Craig County is asking all citizens with questions about the pipeline to attend that next Craig County Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. County Administrator Clay Goodman has invited an EQT representative to answer questions from the board and citizens at the meeting, but it has not yet been confirmed if anyone will attend.