NEWPORT, VA - People in the Town of Newport in Giles County hope a new historic designation for the area can help them fight the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The group Preservation Virginia has put the town on a list of endangered historic sites, something that could give it legal standing to oppose certain development there in the future.
The Town of Newport is full of historic structures, including two covered bridges more than 100 years old. People who live there see the pipeline as a looming threat to that history.
"This is going to rip through what is a vibrant existing historic community, and will ultimately lead to its destruction," said David Brady, with the group Preserve Newport Historic Properties.
Brady has been working for the past three years to counter the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which if built, he says will bring other companies to the area.
"The district will potentially long-term be destroyed by, once you get an intrusion like this of pipeline, there will be more to follow, and it will ultimately lead to the permanent degredation of a utility corridor," said Brady.
That degredation is something Scott Geller with the group Preserve Giles County can't stand for.
"This is what, one of four covered bridges in the State of Virginia? Why? When are we going to wake up and say we have to preserve our history?" said Geller.
Brady says preserving history is exactly what the new designation does. The Town of Newport has been dubbed "an endangered historic area" by the group Preservation Virginia.
"It raises the awareness with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Advisory Council on Historic Properties. Those organizations that can weigh in with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as equals," said Brady.
Geller says it's one more step for this small community in the fight against a big pipeline project.
"A lot of money has been raised for this historical designation. That took time and money and effort and lots of people. So we're not giving up," said Geller.
The Giles County community will be coming together Saturday in the Town of Newport to discuss the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the new historical designation at an open house at the community center starting at 11 am.
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