News

NCDEQ verifies Moriah Energy Center sediment pollution

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Stormwater Issues, Stormwater Runoff, Water Quality

Posted on June 13th, 2024

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop talks to participants before the NOMEC (no Moriah Energy Center) creek walk held June 9, 2024.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has found that sediment is, indeed, polluting streams surrounding Dominion Energy’s Moriah Energy Center liquified natural gas facility under construction in Person County.

“This verifies the legitimate concerns of community members surrounding all sides of the construction site who have seen muddy water in the backyard creeks,” said Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop.

NCDEQ’s Division of Water Resources conducted a site visit on May 30 after numerous complaints from Sound Rivers and community members who have observed sediment pollution entering local waterways.

NCDEQ found two sediment basins on the site were impacting nearby surface waters. For one basin, Division of Water Resources staff recommended the company remove by hand sediment that has collected in a stream running adjacent to the basin. Evidence was also found that sediment was entering a pond adjacent to second sediment basin, and a third sediment basin was unable to be inspected because of ongoing blasting.

Sediment-filled water is seen flowing from the Moriah Energy Center property during a rain.

Dominion Energy is required by state law to use practices defined by the Erosion and Sediment Control Program to prevent sediment pollution, and DWR has the ability to issue notices of violation if those standards are not being met. According to a DWR representative, the agency pointed out in its communication with Dominion that DWR specifically reserves the right to issue an NOV if these problems are not resolved.

“We’ve been told by NCDEQ that Dominion has agreed to strengthen their Sediment and Erosion Control practices onsite, but we don’t know yet what the new protections will be,” Samantha said.

The concern is not only muddied waters in the local streams, but potential impacts downstream in Deep Creek and Flat River, both home to endangered species such as the Neuse Waterdog.

“We’re going to continue to work with local community members to monitor waters around the construction site and to hold Dominion, and state regulators, accountable for protecting waterways and the communities downstream,” Samantha said.

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