[Ya, well maybe… ACP won’t be making reparations for all the years of head and heartache. Will they pay for damages to the land, return the easements?… good article, even though she does favor the landowners who ‘cooperated’ with ACP. Read on]
The fight played out in public spaces via protests and events and in courthouses up and down the coast. All the while, other exchanges over the contentious Atlantic Coast Pipeline hit closer to home and played out more quietly.
In living rooms and at kitchen tables in the homes of landowners along the 600-mile route that was to cross three states, ACP worked to buy up rights to valuable real estate. In Nelson County, more than 150 landowners were part of those methodical talks that often carried monumental stakes.
And for all the back and forth — over the less than 30 miles of the planned path of the now-canceled natural gas project — and the relinquishing of the rights to hundreds of acres, Nelson County landowners walked away with more than $15 million.
“Ain’t that sweet?” said Carlton Ballowe, a Nelson resident and landowner who signed multiple easement agreements with ACP. Ballowe, a supporter of the project throughout its six-year lifespan, said with the final outcome of the pipeline — the announcement last month of its cancellation — landowners who received payouts can “have your cake and eat it too.”
Others who stood in unyielding opposition, meanwhile, saw the millions ACP distributed in Nelson County as reparations for harm that cannot be fully healed.
“There are no winners,” said Jay Roberts, executive director for Wintergreen Property Owners Association, which signed a pair of easement agreements allowing the placement of the pipeline and use or improvement of existing roads or the creation of a new road for the project.
Looking at the process
In Nelson, discussions between ACP representatives and landowners took on a variety of looks.
Some landowners managed the talks themselves. Others involved lawyers.
Some went back and forth multiple times as they aimed to get better compensation offers. And some initially refused to sign easement agreements.
Read more of this extensive article at The News and Advance August 15, 2020
Nick Cropper contributed to this report.