Introduction: We have been researching best methods of baseline testing of water, in addition to air, noise, and health going on 2 years now.  We applied for a grant to cover 30 well water sites along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) path in Buckingham. So no one will have to personally pay out of pocket for any of these tests!

The evidence that we uncover in our testing & research will not only benefit Buckingham County, Virginia, but also hundreds if not thousands of people beyond our borders, when disseminated to our partners. We have asked our local, then regional public health departments to do these studies. We were referred to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and were referred back to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Thus we, the people, have launched a comprehensive citizen effort to monitor impacts to our water, air, noise and health and hold Dominion’s proposed ACP accountable. And to show that fossil fuel projects are toxic, dangerous and unnecessary. We have the means and the knowledge to pursue sustainable energy. We need to collectively steer our industries and elected leaders in this direction. Hard, scientific facts make it difficult to argue that fossil fuels are in any way safe, non toxic. Our participation will contribute to important evidence building that will help us now, and future generations to see clearly the impacts of the choices that we make.

We are still holding out for this not to be built, but want to be prepared. ACP would like to start building the proposed compressor station starting in June, but gladly, this is looking doubtful.

None of this citizen initiative would be necessary if the VDH would have taken this on. See memos intercepted via FOIA’s showing that VDH originally wanted to test the water along the entire length of the proposed ACP, then scaled wayyyy back to asking for only the karst regions.
VDH_OEHS_MVP_ACP Memo_12-9-2016
VDH-DEQ ACP, MVP Keller FOIA 10-19-17 (2)

We have received a grant for $10,000 to do a study around the proposed compressor station neighborhood. That study began in May 2018. It is to monitor air, noise, and health. We are contracting with South West Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) for this project. Their website is 

We are using their recently created Citizen Scientist Tool Kit. The document is available here also:

Water Testing Project details

Separate grants will cover pre-construction well water testing, and then later, post construction for comparison.  Participants need to sign release and agreement forms, listed below.

The laboratory we are using to do our water testing, Research Environmental Industrial Consultants, Inc. (REIC) will also come to each home to collect the water sample. They will sample from an outside faucet after running the water for 5 minutes.  They are also collecting some surface water samples. REIC is certified by the Virginia Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (VELAP).

We are collaborating with Lisa Lefferts, MSPH, who is coordinating well water baseline testing in advance of the construction of the proposed ACP, for her community, Horizons Village, in Nelson County, Virginia. She is a public health scientist, so we are gratefully following her lead on this study. She has done the extensive research into what to test for and the best methodologies, and created the Statement of Work agreement with REIC; all important details for making sure this is legally defensible.

Advantages of following Lisa’s lead are the consistency and support we would get by working with Horizons, as well as the data comparisons. We have also been working with other groups along the proposed pipeline routes. We have created a protocol that others can use; a huge service to all of us. Below are documents that  can be used for guidance in this process. These documents are the results of many months of work. Please use them for your benefit, and truly for all of us, as we are all downstream…

We have negotiated a group rate with REIC of $250 per household, for 8+ households, for a basic list of 87 contaminants.  All analytes listed in our contract with REIC will be analyzed in a legally defensible manner, using documented laboratory Standard Operating Procedures that incorporate appropriate quality control procedures, should we ever need to use this data in a court of law.

In addition to the basic list, we will test for dissolved methane/ethane, and gasoline and diesel/oil range organics. See details with costs below.

 A.  $250 basic list of 87 contaminants per household. Appendix I Analytes Parameters & Minimum Detection Levels 5-31-18

B.  Additional 3 tests per household include:
$156.00 Dissolved Methane/Ethane
$45.42 Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons – Gasoline Range Organics (TPH-GRO) (Method 8015D)
$65.85 Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons – Diesel Range Organics/Oil Range Organics) (Method 8015D)
$267.27 Total for additional tests per household

C. $517.27 Total for all tests per household.

D. Sampling costs per household: $75

E. Total costs per household for tests and sampling: $592.27

Below are a number of documents that together, can be a complete protocol when adapted to your community.

 A. Statement of Work, very important for assuring good communications so that the job is done right by the laboratory. Includes the basic list of 87 contaminants, plus other contaminants we are testing for. Missing, for privacy purposes, is a list of homeowners with contact info. FoB-VO REIC(PAS) SoW 6-1-18 without Att A

 B. Sample of what test results could look like (with personal information blocked out for privacy purposes): ACP REIC Attachment 4 Example Test Results

 C. Release form when working with groups. Adapted from South West Pennsylvania Environmental Environmental Health Project (SWP-EHPRelease Form Well Water FoB 5-6-18

 D. List of contaminants that ACP’s lab, Compliance Monitoring Labs, Inc, tested for in Buckingham. Note, that the lab is located in WVA, and also is not VELAP certified. ACP Well water test 11-30-16

For the final report of the results of our testing in Buckingham, see the post below.  If you have any questions, please ask.

Updated 6-3-2018

Heidi Dhivya Berthoud
Baseline Testing Project Manager
Secretary Friends of Buckingham
Home: 969 1977
Cell: 434 979 9732

For other posts on baseline testing on FoB site please check out:

2018 Friends of Buckingham Baseline Testing Project of well water, surface water, air, health – Final Report

Baseline Testing: a compilation of resources


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