Environmental Attorney files petition to intervene in proposed gas pipeline case

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On Monday, an attorney representing Blue Heron Environmental filed a motion to intervene on the case involving a gas pipeline that is proposed to go through Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan Counties.

“It’s my kids and my grandchildren maybe someday that are going to be living in this environment that’s effected by this natural gas pipeline,” said environmental lawyer Abigail Benjamin.

Fear of the unknown is why residents throughout the Eastern Panhandle are taking a stand now and putting forth a motion to intervene.

“The whole Eastern Panhandle’s viewpoint and also Blue Heron Environmental Network [are involved in] this permit process,” said Benjamin.

If the judge accepts the motion, Abigail Benjamin will be one of fourteen lawyers on the case, but the only one from the Eastern Panhandle.

“A small hearing office in Charleston gets to hear people that actually live and work in Berkeley County,” said Benjamin.

Benjamin was also one of sixty community members that showed-up to a public meeting on Friday to voice concerns regarding the project.

Farmers, land owners and environmentalists all attended the meeting, hoping to discuss strategies to defeat the pipeline.

“They feel that they have been backhanded and Mountaineer Gas is trying to pull a fast one,” said Upper Potomac River Keeper Brent Walls.

Farmers who live along Back Creek said they have felt disrespected by Mountaineer Gas and how little the company was willing to pay for their land.

“There’s the disruption of quality of life,” said Walls.

Land owners are hoping the petition will help make their voices heard. 

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