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Testimony of a Surveyor Deciding Factor in Court

Tuesday, April 3, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: MATT COMBS
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The testimony of a surveyor is one of the deciding factors in a widely publicized local court case against a group of "tree-sitters" and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).

To bolster their position, the MVP attorneys called Marshall Robinson to the witness stand.

Robinson, a licensed surveyor, had been on Peters Mountain the day prior to where exactly the tree-sitters were located and testified that in his professional opinion the tree-sitters were outside of the no-cut zone and inside of the MVP right away.

Attorneys for MVP also provided the court with a map that Robinson’s team had put together after their survey along with previous survey data from Holland Engineering, a company contracted by MVP.

That map would come back to haunt the MVP attorneys.

On cross-examination, DePaulo asked Robinson to break down the map, detail by detail, questioning him on each one.

Centering in on individual figures, DePaulo questioned the surveyor on why points of the map labeled in hundredths of a mile, or 52.8 feet, were indicated on the map as different lengths with a difference of up to 100 percent.

Answering DePaulo, Robinson told the attorney that to be better shown on the map numbers had been rounded, but that in his professional opinion the protestors are located inside of MVP’s allowable zone.

After a lunch recess, DePaulo continued his critique of the map, zeroing in on its scale.

Asking if the surveyor the map was to scale, DePaulo used a technique that he said a sixth-grader could do to test the accuracy of the points on the map.

Measuring the distance between two sets of points that were labeled as equal in measure, DePaulo told the judge, before walking to the bench to show him, that by a simple eye test, those measures, which were supposed to equal, were noticeably unequal.

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