“The fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) project had been going on for years. Living in northern Virginia I had heard about it but hadn’t focused on it. Because of a small grant from ILCP I was able to travel to two of the affected Virginia counties, Nelson and Buckingham to see the impact both physically and emotionally on the communities through which the ACP would traverse. Little had actually been built in either county, but the emotional impact was huge. Nelson, a dramatic mountainous county with an economy heavily dependent on a tourism tied to the beauty of area and to which many people chose to retire, had a well-organized group of volunteers fighting the ACP. The ACP compression station, a large structure with security lighting system and compression engines running 24 hours a day was scheduled to be built in Union Hill, a historical black community of freemen in Buckingham county. Many living in Union Hill had been raised in the area, left for work and then came back to retire. They were not going to let this happen if they could help it. These retirees and others organized, working with Nelson to stop the ACP. The Alleghany Blue-Ridge Alliance adapted a mapping technology which recorded the progression of the pipeline and make records of the area through which it was to be built. This technology was invaluable to communities fighting against the ACP. In July of 2020, the partners for the pipeline decided to cancel it, a rare victory to a grassroots movement confirming cooperation, perseverance and stubbornness can help a community win.” – iLCP Senior Fellow Karen Kasmauski
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