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NC Environmental Justice & Equity Advisory Board to Call “Special Meeting” on Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Just moments into its May 18th NC EJ & Equity Advisory Board meeting, the Board’s Chairman Johnson announced that special meeting on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be held as soon as possible.

The meeting was called in response to a letter sent by the FrackFreeNC Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Redtailed Hawk Collective, and Belinda Joyner, an Atlantic Coast Pipeline-impacted resident in Northampton County, urging the Board to follow up on an oral statement of concern about the ACP by Board member Rev. Rodney Sadler in its November, 2019 Advisory Board meeting. Rev. Sadler:

“I just want to do this as a member of this Board and see if it holds with the will of the larger Board to say that we are concerned about the current progress of the ACP. We’re concerned about the sustainability of Executive Order 80 if the ACP is put in place. We’re concerned about the fact that this continues to progress through lands that are primarily owned and occupied by environmental justice communities and we’re concerned that the permitting process has taken place without due consideration of the concerns of the people of this state and I’d like to make that an official statement from the environmental justice and equity board. I put that in the form of a motion.”

While the motion was unanimously passed by the Board to make Rev. Sadler’s comments an official statement of concern, it was our expectation that it would be incorporated into an Official Advisory Statement to the Dept. of Environmental Quality, outlining the grave environmental, social, and economic injustices of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

While it’s promising to know a special, urgent meeting will be called on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it is unclear how strong a position the Board will take. FrackFreeNC Alliance and our allies living in the path of the ACP believe that this meeting must result in a strong official Advisory Statement to DEQ regarding the environmental injustices of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, comparable to a 2019 advisory statement on Coal Ash.

The urgent meeting on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced by Chairman Johnson should be open to the public, and invite impacted residents who have been calling on the state to acknowledge the community, health, and environmental impacts this 600-mile fracked gas pipeline would force onto the poor, African American and indigenous communities the pipeline would cut through in 8 counties.

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