Residents from Monroe and Giles counties oppose Mountain Valley - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Residents from Monroe and Giles counties oppose Mountain Valley Pipeline

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(WVVA) Giles County, Virginia and Monroe County, West Virginia are only separated by the state line. However, a Circuit Court judge in Monroe County ruled it was unconstitutional for surveyors to access land without the owners permission.

In Giles County, a U.S. District Court went the other way, granting surveyors free access to the land. Though on opposite ends of the spectrum, residents from both counties feel similar.

"I think they are taking all our rights away where I cant defend my land, anybody that wants to can come on it and do what they want to do," says Tony Meadows, landowner in Giles County.

Tony Meadows and his family live on a 100 acre spread on Wilburn Valley Road in Giles County. He spent his young adulthood working to buy this land to leave for his children.
 
For meadows, the Virginia ruling by U.S. District judge Robert Turk allowing surveyors access to property owners land, without the landowners permission, defeats the purpose of the term private property.

"It makes you feel like you have no ownership whatsoever and our government seems to cater to the bigger people than us. People that have worked all of our life to have what we got, it don't mean a thing to them," says Meadows.

The ruling in  Monroe County West Virginia is very different. A circuit court judge found that it was unconstitutional for surveyors from mountain valley pipeline company to access private property without permission.

"Yeah it's coming right through them woods right through there, right on down them mountains and right across there," says Monroe County Landowner, Kenneth Vass.

Kenneth Vass and his wife live only miles from where the proposed pipeline is to cross in Peterstown. They've already dealt with the surveyors, and they wanted no part of them.

When WVVA asked the Vass family how they dealt with the surveyors when they came to their home, this was their response.

"I told them no, I did not want it. It is too close to the house and it don't benefit us. That's the thing," says Carrol Vass.

The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline would stretch out over 300 miles, running through  northwestern West Virginia to Pittsylvania County in Virginia.

Mountain Valley is expected to appeal the circuit court decision in Monroe county.

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