‘Stop The Pipeline’ Tour Takes Off

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By SHAUN SAVARESE

Of The Record Staff

Inconsistent smoke and a constant mechanical whine emitted from an 8-foot by 6-foot mock compressor station in the parking lot of the East Regional Public Library in the Cumberland County community of Vander.

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and Cumberland County Caring Voices (C3V) launched an eight-day, 365mile tour of communities targeted for natural gas pipelines including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposed to run from Virginia to Robeson County roughly parallelling Interstate 95. Locally, its route passes through Cumberland, Sampson and Johnston counties.

The tour features the mock pipeline compressor station which replicates the sound and appearance for the actual compressor stations necessary for pipelines to deliver gas.

“This is just a toy, compared to the real Mckoy,” BREDL Executive Director Lou Zeller said Tuesday as 55 decibels of real recorded sound emanated from an amplifier from within the demonstration.

Mr. Zeller said a real compressor station would fill that parking lot, perhaps a football field or two. They are enclosed, industrial buildings with external-combustion, piston or turbine engines inside.

There are compressor stations, 1,000 times the size of the BREDL model, proposed for every 50-100 miles along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Mr. Zeller said. The compressor stations take in natural gas at a low pressure and output highlypressurized gas. However, Tammie McGee with Duke Energy corporate relations said there is only one compressor planned for North Carolina, in North Hampton County near the See Pipeline, Page 3

Cumberland County Caring Voices (C3V) Luis Nino introduces Lois Gibbs, keynote speaker at Tuesday’s stop on the Stop the Pipeline — Roll Back Pollution roadshow at the East Regional Library in Vander.

Daily Record Photo/Shaun Savarese Pipeline

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Virginia border.

“It will be inaudible to its nearest neighbors,” Ms. McGee said.

Mr. Zeller said compressor station smoke stacks emit toxic gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the burning of combustion engines.

“Compressor station noise and pollution are devastating to a community. Our display allows people to experience the unholy racket created by these machines before it is too late,” Mr. Zeller said in a press release.

He added that the air pollution produced by big, main-line compressor stations could have serious neurological and physical consequences on those nearby facilities.

“I don’t know that there is any science to that,” Ms. McGee said. “In fact, as a result of the pipeline, emissions from this state should be reduced.”

She said the route chosen for the pipeline was meant to reduce impact on people, the environment and cultural resources as much as possible.

“It was two and a half years of planning. It was a thorough and exhaustive process,” Ms. McGee said.

For the first four days, the roadshow will track the routes of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Then it will track the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Tuesday it was in Cumberland County. Wednesday it was in Johnston and Wilson. Today it will be in Nash County. From there the tour continues:

• Friday — Halifax

• Saturday — Buckingham, Va.

• Sunday — Nelson, Va.

• Monday — Franklin and Pittsylvania, Va.

• Tuesday — Roanoke, Va.

Environmental activist and founder of the Center for Environmental Justice, Lois Gibbs, was the keynote speaker at the CV3 event in Fayetteville. She expressed concerns over land seizure and nonrenewable resources.

Mrs. Gibbs spoke on the premise of her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren’s resources being shipped overseas.

“They put a pipeline in, to ship it somewhere else, to make their money … that’s what makes me angry,” she said. “It’s not about today, tomorrow or next year … it’s about the next generation and the next generation.”

Mrs. Gibbs, who expressed fear over a future foreign war, comes from Niagara Falls, N.Y., where she organized evacuation and cleanup of her community affected by toxic waste. In a press release, she said that polluting industrial facilities such as pipelines and compressor stations can and must be stopped.

BREDL was founded in 1984 by people in Virginia and North Carolina concerned about a national nuclear waste dump in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

“In total we are in six southern states,” Mr. Zeller said.

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