A certified letter is the first notice Charlotte Rea says she ever received about a pipeline possibly running under her property.
"I was just devastated," said Rea, who lives along Route 151 in the Afton area of Nelson County. "I didn't know that any utility company could come on your property and take it away from you."
Dominion Resources has proposed building a natural gas pipeline that would stretch 450 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina. The proposed route runs through parts of Highland and Nelson Counties.
Landowners along the route received letters from Dominion in May, informing them that surveyors needed access to their land.
That's the letter Rea received.
"It didn't say anything about what I should do if I didn't want to give them permission," Rea told WDBJ7.
Dominion spokesperson Frank Mack told WDBJ7 Tuesday that the survey work is preliminary and that no decisions have been made regarding the pipeline's construction.
"The ultimate plan for us is to create the best possible route, with the least impact to the environment and the historic and cultural resources," Mack said, adding that some Nelson County landowners have given Dominion permission for the survey work.
Rea isn't among them. She and six others have filed an injunction to keep the surveyors off their property.
"If they come to my property, I will call the county sheriff," Rea said.
Dominion has agreed to honor Rea's request, but the law may ultimately give the company open access to her land.
Virginia Code Section 56-49.01 gives natural gas companies the right to enter your property for tests, appraisals, and surveys. The company is required to give notice, by certified mail, at least 15 days in advance.
If a judge upholds Rea's injunction, Dominion may use eminent domain to gain access to her land.
"That is the last step and it's one we are hopeful we won't need to take," Mack said.
In the meantime Rea has posted no trespassing signs, which gives her legal standing to keep Dominion off her property.
She knows that probably won't work for long.
"I think that if they want to come on my property, eventually they will be able to come on my property," Rea said.
Dominion has agreed not to survey any land in Nelson County until after a public meeting with the board of supervisors. A Dominion spokesperson will be on hand to answer questions about the pipeline project.
The meeting will happen August 12 at the Nelson County Courthouse.