Mountain Valley Pipeline project forces couple to move out of home

Giles County couple lived in home nearly 50 years

By Patricia Martellotti - Reporter

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Fern and Earl Echols have been living in a home in Giles County for more than 40 years.

But due to the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, they have been forced to move to a new home.

The couple originally turned to Delegate Chris Hurst with their concerns over the pipeline affecting their home.

Hurst checked in with them to see how they're doing.

“I don't think that they're happy, but Fern and Earl are remarkably resilient people,” Hurst said.

While they're still transitioning from one house to another, Hurst said the couple is concerned about when the wood chipper will arrive to turn the trees around their yard into mulch. 

“They don't want to be there when a huge wood chipper is going to be there,” Hurst said.

Hurst shared his concern over the impact this project is having on the community all around.

“This is one family forced to move from their home to facilitate a project. I think it's really unfortunate,” Hurst said.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., also expressed concern toward those impacted by the project.

“I encourage all the law enforcement interacting with these protesters to treat them humanely,” Kaine said.

Gov. Ralph Northam said he has confidence in the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the state's ability to monitor and regulate the construction of the pipeline.

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