My neighbors and I are forming a defense to a proposed natural gas pipeline (42" coming through Bent Mountain, VA, the northern most terminus of the Blue Ridge Plateau. Being a plateau, it is very flat and contains numerous wetland/stream systems. Mostly emergent and scrub-shrub, some forested and lacustrine. I have been wondering about what the effect of an 11' deep by 8' wide trench, with pipe and backfill, will have on nearby wetlands...hydraulically. Of course, direct impacts are plain to see. But what about the notion that such a trench would act as a french drain and de-water nearby wetlands as the groundwater seeks the path of least resistance. A "french drain" effect, if you will. Not an impact that is detectable very easily or early on, but an impact nonetheless. Likely, an unmitigated impact. This is simply a theory of mine at this point. Can anyone speak to this topic or offer advice on who to talk to or where to look. I will hit the VA Tech library this week and dig deeper through the research, but wanted to see if anyone could ease my learning curve.
Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.