Clean Water For N.C. Hosts Anti-Pipeline Meeting

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By SHAUN SAVARESE

Of The Record Staff

Explosions, poisoned air and water, forced evictions and expensive energy bills were all topics at a meeting on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) at the Mt. Zion Missionary Church Thursday night east of Dunn.

More than 20 people attended the public community meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sampson County church.

There were short presentations made by Clean Water for N.C. Durham Office Executive Director Hope Taylor, the office’s Water & Energy Justice Organizer Ericka Faircloth, Duke University intern Oshin Daranjape and N.C. Environmental Justice Network Organizing Co-Director Naeema Muhammed. The focus was the impact the ACP is likely to have See Pipeline, Page 3

More than two dozen people from Dunn and surrounding areas attended a Clean Water for North Carolina community meeting on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Thursday night at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.The organization’s Durham office Executive Director Hope Taylor informed all of a Tuesday evening public hearing in Fayetteville.

Daily Record Photo/Shaun Savarese Pipeline

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on the regional and local economy, on water, land and air.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is proposed to run from Virginia to Robeson County roughly paralleling Interstate 95. Locally, its route will pass through Cumberland, Sampson and Johnston counties.

There has been a number of organizational meetings and protests in Cumberland and Johnston counties since last fall, from groups like Cumberland County Caring Voices (C3V), No Pipeline Johnston County and Blue Ridge Environmental League.

The groups have environmental and safety hazard concerns, including methane gases, pipeline explosions, negative effect on property values and eminent domain issues.

Primarily, speakers requested those in attendance to come out to Fayetteville Tech Community College, Cumberland Auditorium, 2201 Hull Road, Fayetteville, at 5 p.m. Tuesday for a Department of Environmental Quality State Division of Water Resources permitting hearing. There is another hearing at the same time this Thursday in Rocky Mount at Nash Community College, 522 N. Old Carriage Road in the Brown Auditorium.

Clean Water for N.C. is asking those in opposition to the ACP to register to speak out against its construction at either or both public hearings later this week.

“This is not a done deal. There are still several major permits that this pipeline has to get from the state agency,” Ms. Taylor said. “The Federal Energy Regulatorty Commission has the final OK on this pipeline. But in order for them to say OK, there has to be a big 401 permit, and they need them from Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, and any one state can stop it by stopping the 401 permit. So, we need folks to come out and speak up.”

Ms. Taylor said the pipeline is proposed to cost more than $5.5 billion to build but it is not needed for the region’s energy future, according to studies.

She stated the reason the ACP is proposed for construction is for energy companies’ profit margins, saying Duke Energy and Dominion Energy can make upwards of 14 percent profit on the pressurized gas pipeline.

“That dwarfs what they can get from generating electricity,” she said.

Ms. Taylor believes the consumer will pay for the more than 600-mile construction plan, in increased utility rates and fees. This will disproportionately affect the state’s poor, she said. Ms. Faircloth said tax money promised to local counties is dependent upon the amount of natural gas being pumped.

She and her colleagues talked greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, being emitted from pump stations and the pipeline. Ms. Taylor said Clean Water for N.C. has told Gov. Roy Cooper, “The single biggest thing he can do to protect North Carolina, with regards to climate change, is to stop this pipeline.”

Ms. Muhammed took a turn, and shared a selection of information from the N.C. Environmental Justice Network. “Go to your local government meetings, ask questions. You have a right to speak at your county commissioners meeting,” she said.

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