On Friday, January 26th, NCDEQ issued the water quality certification required by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to proceed through the eastern counties of North Carolina. This decision was made despite unanswered questions about its impacts and unsubstantiated claims of economic benefit. Read the press release here.
And apparently this decision to approve the water quality certification is based on some deal making between the State of North Carolina and the proponents for the ACP. Specifically, $57.8 million in funding from ACP and its partners Dominion Power and Duke Energy "...to be used for environmental mitigation initiatives such as reducing the carbon footprint and expansion of renewable energy sources..." and "...can also be used to ensure that local communities benefit economically from the pipeline by having access to natural gas from the pipeline..." BUT "...ACP did not guarantee affordable access to natural gas for communities through which the pipeline will run..." Read the press release on the funding here.
And since the devil is very often in the details, read the Mitigation Project Memorandum of Understanding here.
Very disappointing for all of us that have been actively engaged for the last few years, raising issues about this risky and unnecessary pipeline, and advocating to NOT APPROVE this fracked gas pipeline that will take away landowners' rights, damage our watersheds and fail to provide economic benefit to the communities impacted, amongst our most vulnerable communities!
But our fight continues to protect our Lumber River watershed and the communities that rely on it.