FERC Seeks Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Attend People’s Hearings nearby—learn more about the ACP and help prepare for official comments!
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s long permitting process continues, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which makes the final certification decision for gas pipelines, released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on December 30th. There are MAJOR problems with the long DEIS (click here)! There’s missing information, serious oversimplifications, poor analysis and startlingly overoptimistic economic and environmental assumptions.
Several local and statewide organizations concerned about the ACP invite you to join us at informal People’s Hearings close to the locations of the official FERC “listening sessions” for brief oral comments. You can either go first to the FERC listen session closest to you, and then go to the People’s Hearing to get more information and connect with others concerned about the ACP, or you can go first to a People’s Hearing to help prepare your comments. It’s totally up to you.
The locations for next week’s FERC sessions and People’s Hearings:
Feb 13th, Fayetteville
5:00-9:00PM FERC Drop- in Comment Session: DoubleTree Hotel,1965 Cedar Creek Rd.
People’s Hearing: 6:00 PM Rodeway Inn, 1957 Cedar Creek Rd.
Feb 14th, Wilson
5:00-9:00PM FERC Drop- in Comment Session: Forest Hills Middle School 1210 Forest Hill Rd.
People’s Hearing: School cafeteria. Marvin: 252-478-5442 for info.
Feb 15th, Roanoke Rapids
5:00-9:00 PM FERC Drop- in Comment Session: Hilton Garden Inn, 111 Carolina Crossroads Pkwy.
People’s Hearing: 5:30 Mystique Events Ctr, 1652 NC Hwy. 125
Call Belinda, 252-537-1078, or Hope@CWFNC.org for more info.
Here are some examples of key problems with the DEIS for you to consider commenting on:
Socioeconomic Issues and Environmental Justice
Brief Comments on Groundwater Resources Section 4.3.1
Surface Water Wetlands Summary of Problems
Summary Comments on Compressor Stations and Air Quality
Summary Comments on Inadequate Assessment of Safety Issues in DEIS
We hope that you will join us March 4-19 for a Walk to raise awareness about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a highly pressurized natural gas pipeline slated to run through 8 of NC’s most poor & diverse communities.
The Walk will begin in Northampton County, travel through Halifax, Nash, Wilson, Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson Counties (the terminus of the ACP is in Prospect, NC). The Walk will then continue on through Scotland and Richmond Counties, where an extension of the ACP will go through.
You can join the Walk in any county, and walk for as long as you like. Educational events, ceremonies, cultural events etc will take place in each county the Walk goes through.
RSVP on the website here. Join on Facebook here.
STOP THE ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE
Residents all along the proposed NC corridor for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, from Northampton to Robeson Counties, are speaking out and showing up to express their concerns for water, safety, health and loss of control of their land. While economic development has been touted by Dominion and the pipeline proponents, only 18 permanent jobs will be created in NC, and none of the gas will be accessible for residential or small business use. Utility customers would end up paying the $5 Billion pricetag even if the pipeline doesn’t operate for long, and low income and people of color communities will be disproportionately impacted. Renewable energy and efficiency are more cost-effective and won’t exacerbate climate change as would a natural gas pipeline, through leaks and routine releases.
NOVEMBER 19: Three “Walks To Protect Our Peoples & The Places We Live”:
CUMBERLAND COUNTY WALK
Sponsored by Cumberland County Caring Voices
9:30 AM Meet in front of Cape Fear Regional Theater in Fayetteville. 1209 Hay St.
March 1 mile down Hay Street to Market House for rally and speak out. Ending
about noon. Snacks & water will be available.
For more info, contact Denise Bruce, 910-726-5745, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Walker, 910-584-4343 email@example.com
NASH COUNTY WALK
Sponsored by Nash Stop the Pipeline
10 AM, Meet at Ennis Recreation Park in Red Oak, on Hwy 43. (Take exit 141 east
from I-95; go 3 miles turn right into Park at 1st stop light.).
Walk is 9 miles and will end at Nash County Court House about 3 pm in Nashville,
NC with rally and speak out. Shuttles available to return participants to Red Oak.
Snacks & water will be available.
For info, contact Marvin Winstead, 252-478-5442, firstname.lastname@example.org
ROBESON COUNTY PRAYER WALK
Sponsored by Eco-Robeson
1:30 PM; Meet at the Pembroke Town Park, 413 West Third Street in Pembroke
across from UNC Pembroke. 2 mile walk. Rally and prayer circle at corner of
Prospect Rd and Hwy 72 near the Gas Metering Station. Snacks & water available.
For more information contact Alisha Locklear 910-827-2528 email@example.com
“Fracking” in NC is now less of a threat, with natural gas prices too low for drillers to bother with NC’s meager natural gas reserves. However, the next wave of damage by the natural gas industry is the mad dash to build pipelines. Given the many impacts gas pipeline projects can have on communities, with little or no jobs or other benefits to impacted residents, FrackFreeNC realized that we must share knowledge and prepare to challenge unneeded, risky gas pipelines.
What’s Driving the Pipeline Building Boom?
Initially, it appeared to make economic sense to build pipelines to carry gas from highly productive shale formations to areas with little or no gas availability. However, many of us are aware this would actually increase the fracking that has been so damaging to water, air and land in communities, especially in West Virginia. The current plans for gas pipelines far outstrip the need for gas supplies in many areas, and probably even exceed the supply that would be available from shale formations in the coming years! Along with fracking itself, pipeline leaks are a major source of methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas, and have accelerated climate change.
So, why build? It turns out that pipeline companies, such as Piedmont Natural Gas, PSNC and Dominion Energy see this as a very secure source of profits. Electric utilities like Duke Energy and Dominion are joining the party. When the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approves projects, pipeline and utility companies can receive as high as a 14% rate of return (profit) on their pipelines, recovering construction costs PLUS profit from their ratepayers! FERC doesn’t do detailed reviews of the long term need for a pipeline or supply, so approvals can force ratepayers to pay for construction costs and profit, even if the pipeline isn’t needed!
The ACP—A Pipeline That’s Costly, Unneeded and Dangerous
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 42 inch, highly pressurized pipeline starting at the southern end of the Marcellus shale in West Virginia, would take gas extracted in severely impacted communities and move it through VA and 8 counties in NC, ending near Lumberton. Only 18 permanent jobs would be created, only large industries would be able to tap in to the pipeline, and there probably wouldn’t be enough gas to fill planned pipelines anyway.
Recent studies have shown that: 1) it’s utility customers who would pay the $5 Billion cost of construction even if the pipeline is under-utilized [insert link to Cathy Kunkel’s study)
2) there’s simply no need for more gas pipelines to the southeast US![insert link to the Synapse Study]
3) recent, hastily built pipelines have more failures than any pipelines built since before 1940!
Get involved, to protect communities, landowners, utility ratepayers, and the environment!
Clean Water for North Carolina invites Frack Free NC allies and activists to the organization’s Annual Public meeting with featured speakers on gas pipelines, fracking, methane, coal ash and climate. This event is at the Statesville Civic Center from 1:30 – 5:00 pm. Admission is free for current members and students, and $25 for new members. You can register here.
Sue Fife (left) and Lisa Hughes, Person County residents
1:30—Welcome (Andrea Emanuel, Vice Chair, Clean Water for NC Board of Directors & Hope Taylor, Executive Director)
1:40-2:45—Communities Protecting their Health and Water from Coal Ash Contamination
Striving for Coal Ash Justice in the Shadow of the Roxboro Power Plant (Lisa Hughes & Sue Fife, Person County residents)
Larry Aiken (left) and Roger Hollis, Cleveland County
The forgotten part of Cleveland County’s fight for clean water and energy (Roger Hollis & Larry Aiken, Cleveland County residents)
NC coal ash disposal, and reuse: Parts of the solution? (Xavier Boatright, CWFNC)
The fight to save public “health advisories” for well water in NC (Katie Hicks, CWFNC)
2:45-3:15—Break with refreshments
3:15-5:00 Energy Justice, Climate, and Retooling NC’s Energy Future
What’s Happened with Fracking in NC, and Why the Rush to Build Gas Pipelines? (Hope Taylor, CWFNC)
The Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline and NC’s Indigenous and African American communities (Ericka Faircloth, CWFNC)
Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire: Why Turning from Coal to Fracked Gas is a Terrible Idea (Nancy LaPlaca, Senior Energy Analyst, NC WARN & The Climate Times)
Redesigning NC’s Energy Future for Jobs, Water and Economic Justice: What Renewables and Energy Efficiency Can Do (Hope Taylor, CWFNC)
Thanks and farewell (Nydia Morales, Secretary, CWFNC Board of Directors and Katie Hicks, Associate Director)
Tomorrow, August 5th is the deadline for comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the Environmental Impact Statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion is aggressively recruiting comments in support of the pipeline. FERC NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU! Clean Water for NC has gathered talking points you can use to comment in your own words, click here. Environmental, climate and health concerns of pipelines and compressor stations, safety and economic impacts and why the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not only unnecessary, but actually suppresses job-creating efficiency and renewable energy development are all important for FERC to hear about!
Select the points about which you are the most concerned and write them in your own words. Go to https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx to fill out the short comment registration form. You will be sent a link from FERC to comment, and be sure to enter Docket number CP15-554. Copy and paste your comment into the comment form by tomorrow, August 5 and submit!
Questions? Contact Clean Water for NC at 919-401-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recording of the Peoples Hearing on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is now available here: https://vimeo.com/177434872
We did have technical difficulties, so not all comments were captured.
Check out these images of our FrackFreeNC partners participating in the Clean Energy Revolution in Philadelphia on July 24th!
Last night about 60 enthusiastic people showed up for the Peoples’ Hearing on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Fayetteville. Local folks, as well as grassroots organizations made comments about the dangers of this highly pressurized natural gas pipeline. Residents talked about Dominion complicating their lives, being misleading and not giving them reliable information, health, safety, economic impacts.
Clean Water for North Carolina is releasing a new short report – “Dangerous Neighbors: Gas Pipelines, Compressor Stations, and Environmental Injustice”. The U.S. is currently in the midst of an expansion of the natural gas infrastructure that has far outpaced the knowledge of impacts on people and the communities in which they live. With natural gas being touted as the “clean” bridge between coal and renewable energy, regulators and legislated incentives have cleared the way for fossil fuel corporations to profit from the expansion of natural gas infrastructure while communities bear the costs. Now that measures of those costs are becoming clearer, many are calling for the brakes to be applied. This report explores the risks and consequences of this expansion, and how they affect residents and communities.
Highlights of the report include:
- When pipelines and compressor stations and other gas infrastructure are built, they often deliver environmental injustice by changing the physical environment of communities and effectively removing community choice in defining the built environment or the types of energy in which they can invest.
- Living next to compressor stations is harmful to nearby residents’ health. Proximity to these facilities is associated with nosebleeds, rashes, headaches, and exposure to cancer-causing emissions. Especially along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and near the compressor station planned for Northampton County, we see potential for disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations.
- Incidents of pipeline accidents have actually increased, reaching highs not seen since the pre-1940 constructed pipelines, perhaps due to the sheer speed of the expansion without adequate oversight.
- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has essentially acted as a rubber stamp for pipeline approvals, showing no regard for environmental justice considerations.
- The new Atlantic Coast Pipeline being constructed by Dominion and Duke Energy is routed to go through 8 counties in North Carolina, most of which have higher than state average poverty levels, as well as high populations of African American or Indigenous residents, or both.
- Experts are warning that pipelines may quickly become stranded assets, as gas supply or demand dwindles, leaving customers on the hook in the form of higher rates.
- The expansion of natural gas infrastructure endangers communities worldwide, as we now know the release of methane into the atmosphere is significantly amplifying global warming. It is low income communities and communities of color who will suffer first, and most deeply.
Read the full report here.