Baseline sampling set to track LNG facility impacts

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Water Quality

Posted on February 8th, 2024

Neuse Riverkeeper use the YSI to take readings of a stream that flows from the land proposed for the Moriah Energy Center.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop was in the field this week, meeting with residents surrounding the recently approved Moriah LNG (liquid natural gas) facility in Person County.

Sam took the opportunity to do baseline sampling of the creeks flowing from the LNG site onto properties owned by local residents.

“I used the YSI and got all the basic health perimeters,” she said. “Our main focus is going to be turbidity and the impacts of construction to these small, sensitive streams.”

The project was recently approved with a unanimous vote by the Person County Board of Commissioners, despite pushback from many of their constituents. More than 30 people, including Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Katey Zimmerman, spoke out against the project before the vote to rezone the land.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop talks with residents whose property is near Dominion Energy’s proposed Moriah Energy Center, a storage facility for liquified natural gas.

Sam said she’ll be drawing on the community to assist with ongoing sampling of potentially impacted streams, while she’ll be doing the processing of samples and keeping track of the data.

“We’re empowering them to get samples, and working with them to establish a sampling protocol,” she said. “It’s a new process for us, but it gives us an opportunity to significantly expand our sampling.”

Community activists did achieve a recent win — a hearing from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality — so construction on the facility will not begin immediately. Person County residents (Person County Community Action Network) have also filed a complaint to stop the construction of Dominion Energy’s Moriah Energy Center. Read more about the complaint here.

“If the project moves to the construction phase, we’ll be able to track any impacts through the data we’re collecting now,” Sam said.

The creeks that stand to be impacted are part of the Deep Creek and Flat River watersheds. Flat River flows into Falls Lake, a tributary of the Neuse River.

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