Police charge two for standing too close to pipeline construction

Tree-cutting continues on Bent Mountain

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Roanoke County police said Tuesday that they charged two people Friday for standing too close to a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite in Roanoke County.

Video posted online shows police speaking to local residents Virginia Chapman and Mary Coffey, who each face a charge for interfering with property rights.

Police said the two women didn’t follow a request when they asked them to move for safety purposes.

Police from different departments, as well as Forest Service workers, have asked onlookers to stay between 100 and 150 feet away from the pipeline property at the various worksites.

Many people have been observing what workers have been doing during the current tree-cutting phase the last few months in Roanoke, Franklin and Giles counties.

A judge ruled in January against nearly 300 landowners to allow the project to move forward. Many tree-sitters, staging protests and blocking pipeline workers, have come down from their positions this month. One protester remains in southwest Virginia, a woman suspended from trees in the Jefferson National Forest in Giles County, blocking workers from using an access road.

Construction continues on the natural-gas pipeline, which is projected to run from West Virginia into North Carolina, passing through Giles, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia.