Pipeline protester who chained himself to excavator charged

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IRONTO, Va. (AP) – A man who chained himself to an excavator to protest the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been charged with two misdemeanors.

The Roanoke Times reports 26-year-old Michael James-Deramo is facing misdemeanor counts of entering private property to damage it and preventing the operation of a vehicle.

Virginia State Police used a mechanized lift Friday to remove James-Deramo.

The 300-mile (483-kilometer) natural gas pipeline is being built in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. It has used eminent domain to acquire project space.

The Blacksburg resident in a statement released by the organization Appalachians Against Pipelines says he has “watched as this pipeline has wreaked havoc” on the land and people’s lives.

The newspaper reports authorities in Virginia and West Virginia have charged about 40 people who have attempted to block construction since work began last year.

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