CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- Dozens of residents in one Chesapeake neighborhood protested against a natural gas pipeline that would run nine miles, stretching from Norfolk to Chesapeake.
Roughly 50 people gathered Wednesday morning in front of Holly Point Apartments on Providence Rd. to protest the installation of the Southside Connector Distribution Project.
The group consisted of homeowners from the Georgetown, Holly Glen and Sunrise Hill communities who don't want the line running through their neighborhoods.
"We're fighting this not only for our neighbors and our own homes but our families because we all have grandchildren," said protest organizer James Hampton. "We don't want them playing somewhere where there's pipes on the ground that could very well be leaking and they could be inhaling."
Residents have held previous demonstrations against the pipeline. The most recent protest was in August.
The 24-inch line would run from Salter Street in Norfolk to Bainbridge Blvd. and South Military Hwy. in Chesapeake.
The project is supposed to connect two main gas supply lines in the area.
13News Now reached out to Virginia Natural Gas for comment on the pipeline and protest:
Keeping our customers’ homes warm, businesses running and families safe is our highest priority.
We are installing an additional nine miles of underground natural gas pipeline to the more than 5,600 miles we currently operate and maintain in city rights of way and private easements throughout the region.
Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our communities. That’s why the proposed Southside Connector Distribution Project pipeline will be designed and constructed to exceed the federal regulations related to its safe operation in areas like Chesapeake and Norfolk.
We also have worked closely with local and state agencies to determine the best route for the pipeline. This route has the least impact to home and business owners because a majority of the pipeline is located within an existing Dominion Energy electric right-of-way and will not hinder the use of their properties in any additional way. Installing the pipeline here, in a dedicated right-of-way, provides the best environment for operating the pipeline.
The project manager for Virginia Natural Gas, Les Flora, told us that the company is in the process of making monetary offers to homeowners and business owners.
One group has started a change.org petition to garner 1,000 signatures to stop the pipeline's construction.
Construction for the project is expected to begin in Norfolk on Dec. 11, with the expected completion date to be sometime in fall 2018.
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