Bent Mtn Money Talks – VA DEQ Adds ‘Informal’ Hearings on MVP

For some time we’ve covered opposition to the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA. One of the hotbeds of opposition is in the Bent Mountain area of Roanoke County, VA (see our Bent Mountain stories here). Local gentry (i.e. wealthy) landowners have tried to involve local police to prevent surveyors from entering their property. It’s actually legal for surveyors to enter any landowner’s property–with advance notice. In one case the surveyors outsmarted the landowners by turning up at the crack of dawn (see MVP Surveyors Outsmart Va. Landowners, Survey at Crack of Dawn). That didn’t sit well with croissant crowd in Bent Mountain. After running our stories about Bent Mountain, we had a rather vicious email from one reader who claimed the people opposing MVP were just po’ folk, like the mythical Walton family, who have lived there for generations. Hogwash. If you check out Realtor.com you’ll see most of the houses listed for sale in Bent Mountain are going for more than half a million dollars. Three acres of land will run you $100,000–for just a building lot! Poor my foot. So it was no surprise for us to learn that Bent Mountain money talks. The Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has scheduled two public hearings for MVP–nowhere near Bent Mountain–on August 8th & 9th. A couple of local House of Delegates representatives objected and scheduled two of their own meetings–in the region. The House members somehow pressured the DEQ into agreeing to attend. In fact, a DEQ rep, “will offer opening remarks, answer questions and accept written comments” at the meetings. In other words, this will be an unofficial, official DEQ hearing for MVP, brought to you by the big money in Bent Mountain…

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