Pipeline opponents gear up to monitor construction

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GILES CO., Va. (WDBJ7) A new effort to monitor construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is now taking shape in western Virginia.

Crews haven't started digging here yet, but the work to clear trees from the pipeline right-of-way is well under way in Giles and Montgomery Counties. Construction could follow soon.

Rick Shingles is the coordinator of the the group Preserve Giles County. He is now working with many others in communities the pipeline would cross to develop the MVP Construction Monitoring Program.

"No one has ever built a pipeline of this size, 42 inches, across the Appalachian Mountains," Shingles told WDBJ7.

The effort will use a smartphone app, and a team of volunteers to keep an eye on construction activities and report any violations of state or federal regulations.

"We feel citizens have to take an active role in protecting their own water," Shingles said. "And when I say active role, all we're going to do is help monitor the construction, property owners on their own parcels, identifying failures in the engineering and then providing that information in a very efficient way to the Department of Environmental Quality, so they can do their job."

The group is now recruiting and training volunteers, and hopes to have the operation up and running by April 1st.