Clearing and excavation for the pipeline project began in the spring of 2014. Trenching began on Peters Mountain in July, and installation of the 12-inch pipe and back filling of the trench was completed in September. Project completion, including final grading and installation of permanent water bars, continued through the end of the year.
Columbia Gas of Virginia (CGV) conducted its own inspections of the project for proper implementation of erosion control requirements approximately weekly beginning in April of 2014. The Forest Service first inspected the project in early September after the trench across the National Forest was open. The VADEQ conducted no inspections of the project during 2014. The CGV inspection reports for 2014 were obtained by the VADEQ in February 2015. Links to the complete sets of Forest Service and CGV inspection reports are provided below.
The following are excerpts from Forest Service inspection reports and related correspondence obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.
“. . . checked a drain that showed signs of wash from the gas line corridor. I have never seen that much sediment move off site before.”
“. . . I visited the National Forest portion of the line. An upper drain on USFS did get a flush of sediment like downslope private land, but less so . . . .”
“. . . a new flow from ditch that looks like equipment took muck out and put on downhill side. It looked like a lava flow, just barely got to stream.”
“One point of clarification for you and Columbia Gas – the sediment that left the right of way is embedded in the stream(s) below the right-of-way. I am sure (assuming) no one has gone down and shoveled it all out, and we have not requested that from the small stream on the National Forest. We will add wood to that stream to stabilize what has left the right-of-way (per our previous email). I only say this so no one is claiming all is OK, and then someone goes out there and documents otherwise.”
“It appears we had a period or an event where sediment left the site and got into a stream course of USFS. Since that event the contractor has made adjustments and it appears stopped all offsite movement . . . .”
“. . . went to top of Peters Mtn. Looked at water bars on top on south side and talked about putting erosion control matting on water bars . . . . Also looked on north side and saw erosion on the lower slope. Water came off N.F. and ate out right-of-way on private. Left a message . . . that this needs to be fixed. ”