Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Environmental Priorities

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Environmental Priorities

I’m glad to see that Dominion Energy is helping to sponsor native plantings along power line rights-of-way and in tiny Bluemont Park (“Encouraging Native Plants” July 5). It would be easier, however, to see Dominion’s ecological concern as sincere if the effort didn’t coincide with attempts to build two pipelines, totaling about 900 miles long, through pristine and sensitive lands in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline would cross rivers and protected national forest land, require eminent domain actions against small farmers and others, and wreck the view along a portion of the Appalachian Trail. All this to carry gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a process notorious for poisoning groundwater and causing earthquakes in the unfortunate places where it is employed.

Finally, Dominion Energy’s pipelines will traverse thousands of acres of land the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s final review conceded were particularly susceptible to landslides, erosion and water contamination. Construction will even require so-called “ridgeline reduction,” otherwise known as mountaintop removal.

I’m sure Virginia butterflies, bees and people are enjoying the new flowers in Arlington. But we all need clean water, clean air, and the preservation of vast expanses of forest, river, and mountain lands much, much more.

Erica Mitrano Bardwell, RN


Erica Mitrano Bardwell is a member of the advisory board of Physicians for Social Responsibility Virginia.