Group Will Watch Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction for Environmental Protection Violations
Doug Jackson, Sierra Club, 202.495.3045, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forrest English, Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper, 252.946.7211, email@example.com
Christine Ellis, Executive Director, Winyah Rivers, 843.267.3161, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper, 910.264.8036, email@example.com
RALEIGH, NC (August 1, 2018)– Today, a group of clean air and water advocates announced they would monitor construction of the fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) for violations of commonsense environmental protections required by state and federal permits. Trained volunteers and staff with the Sierra Club, Sound Rivers, Winyah Rivers and Cape Fear River Watch will monitor ACP construction activities by water, land, and air to ensure potential violations are reported to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The initiative will be known as the North Carolina Pipeline Watch (NCPW).
“The fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline is designed to maximize profits for polluting corporations, while our environmental safeguards are designed to protect our people and communities,” said Kelly Martin, Director of the Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign for the Sierra Club. “We helped launch the initiative to ensure the ACP doesn’t get away with violating the commonsense environmental protections that keep our air and water clean,” she added.
The NCPW is partly modeled on the Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative, a program in Virginia that uses volunteer observers and local residents to find suspected regulatory compliance violations and report them to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. A similar effort recently created enough public pressure in Virginia to halt construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in that state after reporting more than 150 violations to the VA DEQ.
Volunteers will observe the pipeline route by foot, boat, and airplane in order to spot suspected violations, and look for spills and pollution. There is also a form online at www.ncpipelinewatch.org so residents in the path of the pipeline can report problems they find on their property or sign up to host a training near them. Experts will review the submissions and report confirmed violations to DEQ for enforcement.
“We can’t have companies trafficking in fracked gas playing fast and loose with measures that protect our communities and waterways from pollution like ACP has in other states,” said Forrest English, Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper. “Our goal is to hold ACP accountable every step of the way,” he added.
“We’re disappointed that construction of this risky and unnecessary fracked gas pipeline has been approved but we will continue to advocate and engage our community to protect the precious water resources of the Lumber River watershed through monitoring and enforcement of requirements,” said Christine Ellis, Executive Director of Winyah Rivers Foundation.
“Threats to waterways from a construction project of this size will be enormous. If history is a guide, failures will happen. Our volunteers will be watching the project carefully, reporting violations in an effort to protect our waterways and hold the ACP accountable,” said Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper.
The organizations involved in the effort include Sierra Club, Sound Rivers, Winyah Rivers Foundation, and Cape Fear River Watch.