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Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League Sends Letter to Gov. to Stop Harassment and Surveillance by ACP, LLC Security Contractors

March 23, 2018

The Honorable Roy Cooper
Governor
State of North Carolina

Dear Governor Cooper:

On behalf of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), I write to urge you to protect North Carolina communities from security firms representing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The oil and gas industry’s activities to oppress opposition and sway opinion are well documented. For example, in North Dakota, peaceful water protectors were shot with rubber bullets, sprayed with water cannons in sub-zero temperatures and had dogs set on them.

In North Carolina, private security operatives have been and continue to be active in counties in the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). During the summer of 2017, I attended a meeting of the Johnston County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) where representatives of the ACP were presenting. A speaker who identified himself as Dominion security described his trip to Standing Rock, North Dakota, and then proceeded to tell the attendees that Dominion was “monitoring potential resistance, including local opposition” to the ACP. The implications were clear, and his further comments were a not-so-subtle attempt to paint local opponents as “radicals”— local citizens like the teachers, farmers, ministers, firefighters, doctors, parents and grandparents throughout the eight counties targeted by the ACP. Similar comments were reported from LEPC meetings in Nash and Robeson Counties.

At public hearings, private security firms for Dominion/ACP have been observed photographing people who spoke in opposition to the pipeline. They were also observed taking pictures of their license plates. This kind of activity is clearly an attempt to intimidate.

Most recently, landowners attempting to document surveying and tree-cutting activities have been filmed by and experienced aggressive behavior from members of out-of-state crews. Most of these companies are not licensed in North Carolina.

Governor Cooper, it is up to you to make it clear to Dominion, Duke and other Atlantic Coast Pipeline partners that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Please advise us as to actions you will take to protect North Carolina communities from harassment and intimidation by mercenaries working on behalf of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Sincerely,

Therese Vick
North Carolina Healthy, Sustainable Communities/Coal Ash Campaign Coordinator
CC: Attorney General Josh Stein

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