Law enforcement officers respond to pipeline protests in Montgomery County

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – A pipeline protest came to a head Thursday in Montgomery County after law enforcement officers were called. 

Two tree sitters -- Lauren and Nettle -- have been in the woods near Yellow Finch Lane in Elliston for about 20 days.

The sitters are near the path of the pipeline so, on Thursday, officers from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police were called in to handle the situation. Once at the scene, the officers decided to wait until Mountain Valley Pipeline workers double-checked the route before they acted. 

We spoke with a protester about her choice to stay with the tree sitters. 

"We want everybody to know that we're still here. We still oppose it and don't think it's the right thing to do. We don't think it's safe," said Tina Badger. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Mountain Valley Pipeline said:

"The disruption created by opponents along the MVP route is creating unnecessary safety risks for everyone involved, including law enforcement, security personnel, project workers, and opponents themselves. While we continue to respect the opinions of those opposed to important infrastructure projects, the actions of these opponents are forcing public agencies to incur significant expenses in order to maintain safety and uphold the law."