On Friday afternoon, an individual was arrested after attaching themselves to a horizontal drill at a Mountain Valley Pipeline worksite in the 3000 block of Oxford Road in Chatham, causing a brief shut down of the site, according to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.
Emma Karen Howell, age 27 of Winter Park, Florida, was cut away from the drill and was taken into custody without any injury. She was charged with one count of criminal trespass, a class one misdemeanor. She was placed on a $2,500 unsecured bond and released.
A 911 call was received from a county resident at approximately 10:30 a.m. who reported individuals trespassing on private property. There were approximately nine protesters on the site.
Law enforcement officials from the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police were on the scene, along with the Pittsylvania County Commonwealth's Attorney.
According to a press release from the Appalachians Against Pipelines, Howell said, “We do all this for life on earth, for the ones not yet brave enough to take a stand against the injustices of this world. We do this for each other, for every living being on this planet, because we all need clean water and clean air to live.”
The Mountain Valley Pipeline spans 300 miles and runs through West Virginia and Virginia. The pipeline ends in Chatham.
Pipeline construction began in the Climax area in November and has seen some protests and concerns from Pittsylvania County residents.