“Won’t Pipe Down” is a short documentary presenting the definitive David versus Goliath battle between the residents of Nelson County, Virginia and the Dominion Power company. This inside look at the community and their fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline raises questions about environmental justice, property rights, and individual rights.


Dominion Resources Inc., along with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources created a joint venture to construct, own, and operate the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. This pipeline will pump natural gas through 550 miles of 42 inch pipe starting in West Virginia and ending in North Carolina. These power companies are planning to use eminent domain, a right reserved strictly for public good, to take and use individual property owners’ land for the construction of their five billion dollar pipeline. Dominion has been looking for a path of least resistance, and has targeted rural communities across the three states. But residents of Nelson County refused to go down without a fight, hoping to protect their beloved land in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

The Pipeline

  • The pipeline would cross the Blue Ridge Parkway as it enters Nelson County
  • Route 151, designated a Virginia Scenic Byway, would be bisected by the pipeline
  • Trenching, clear cutting and blasting the 125 foot construction right of way through the steep slopes, wetlands, and forests on the route would pose considerable risk to groundwater supplies due to sedimentation and fractured bedrock
  • Visitors would be discouraged from shopping and visiting due to increased traffic, road closures, and detours, and from the noise and ugliness of blasting and clear cutting on the mountains and in the valleys
  • Pipelines are much more likely to negatively affect property values in communities like Nelson County, that are cherished for their rural, scenic, and mountainous environment than in locales with different values and economies

Awards and Honorary Mentions

Documentary Category Winner William and Mary Global Film Festival: Film and Renewal
Official Selection LA Independent Film Festival
Honorary Mention Broadcast Education Association Festival for Media Arts
"So I left Texas because I couldn’t stand all the oil stuff and all the stench and the filth and the big roads and I come to Virginia and I feel like a hex, because now here they come. They want to tear my mountains up."
- Eleanor Labiosa



Abby Riggleman

Abby is an optimistic documentary director and producer who believes in storytelling as the best way to understand the crazy world we live and make a change for the better. Her first film, Won’t Pipe Down, has won numerous awards and presents a David versus Goliath battle between the residents of Nelson County, Virginia and the Dominion Power company. Since Won’t Pipe Down she has continued to make documentary films. Check out some of her other projects:
http://ayearforusfilm.com abigail.v.riggleman@gmail.com


Art Pekun

Art was a world traveler before he was a student at JMU. He has been as far as Cape Town and Helsinki, climbed rooftops in St. Petersburg, Kiev, and Rome, his camera never leaving his side. He was introduced to Abby in one of his filmmaking classes and immediately signed up for the project. Having worked as a photographer and a video producer for Rosetta Stone, Art became one of the key cameramen on this project.


Marley McDonald

Marley hasn’t eaten breakfast today, and probably won’t tomorrow either. She pulls all-nighters editing films and coordinating bands for JMU’s college radio. To Marley there are few stories more exciting, unsettling, or impactful than actual life events told through a well crafted documentary. Working on Won’t Pipe Down introduced her to the potential that films hold and the exhilarating venture of telling other people’s stories. She aspires to continue uncovering important issues through the powerful tool of documentary filmmaking.


Danny McNew

Danny’s passion for cinematography stems from multiple parts of his life. He uses photography to tell his stories, and through that his love for cinematography emerged. When it came to making his first major documentary, Won’t Pipe Down, he ensured that he used his voice for imagery to speak for the Virginian citizens being affected by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. He continues to evolve his voice by working on projects that allow him to travel the world and tell the stories of others. This drive has led him to Ireland, Scotland, and Asia. daniel.h.mcnew@gmail.com

“125 feet. That’s how wide the swath will be through our entire property... Isn’t that amazing?”
- Denver Riggleman


Won’t Pipe Down is available for free on Vimeo. The team has decided that it is an extremely important time for people to watch this film.

Please watch and share with your family, friends and communities. However, this film may not be used for any commercial purposes or financial gain. The Won’t Pipe Down team owns the full copyright and any questions about screenings can be directed to Abby Riggleman, the film’s producer.

“I don't support fracking and I don't support a business that's basically a corporate entity and is making money. It's not for my good, not for my neighbors' good, not my family, even this area.”
- Virginia Dawnsir

Take Action

There are many grassroots organizations in Virginia that are working hard to educate communities on the dangers of the ACP. Visit Wild Virginia to learn more about the potential impacts.

Petitions, letter writing campaigns, phone calls and volunteering can be great ways to take action. Visit the Friends of Nelson site to learn more about how you can do this. You can also find Friends of Nelson on Facebook.

On a larger scale, we need to consider the need for pipelines in the United States. Stay updated with other potential pipelines and look out for any coming into your community. We stand against the ACP, against the DAPL and any pipelines that are solely for corporate gain, infringe on property rights and that ignore what is best for our environment.

We won't pipe down, neither should you.



If you have any questions about the film or would like to hear more information about our project please email us or visit our Facebook page. Thank you!

abigail.v.riggleman@gmail.com Facebook.com/wontpipedown