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Residents Pack 401 Certification Hearings in Opposition ​to ACP

The 401 Certification Hearings for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline last week in Fayetteville and Rocky Mount drew big crowds, with about 80% of commenters speaking​ against the proposed project! The state’s 401 Certification plays a critical role in the pipeline permitting process–if it is denied, it has the potential to stop the proposed pipeline altogether.

The proposed route of the pipeline, if built, would plow through thriving farmland, private property and important bodies of water. The Buckhorn Reservoir is the primary source of drinking water for the city of Wilson and much of Wilson County. Any contaminants that get into the Reservoir or nearby Contentnea Creek from the building or operating of the pipeline would threaten the water source for the cities and towns downstream . “My family’s farm is in the direct path of this proposed pipeline. I’m opposed to this project for three reasons,” Barbara Exum of Wilson County said. “No. 1, it threatens our vital water resource. No. 2, it disproportionately affects people of color, and No. 3, this gas is simply not needed.”

The Cape Fear River has been a popular topic recently due to the GenX contamination occurring just south of Fayetteville. Just upstream of the contamination is where the pipeline is proposed to cross the River. Many families use the River as a source of sustenance fishing, recreation, and cultural purposes. If approved, the pipeline would be installed just under the river bed using horizontal drilling. Drilling fluids have the potential to contaminate the River and impact aquatic life.

The final decision on the 401 Certification is expected around mid-September. Heather Deck, the Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper says the Division of Water Resources doesn’t have sufficient information to sa​id​ that water quality standards will not be violated.  “If they make a decision now, they have to deny it.”

There’s still time to send in your comments on the 401! The deadline is 5:00 pm on August 19th. Here are some talking points to give you some ideas for your own comments!

Email your comments to publiccomments@ncdenr.gov (include “ACP” in subject line).

Or, mail your comments to
401 Permitting
1617 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC
27699

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