Proposed MVP Southgate through Rockingham and Alamance counties

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The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a fracked gas pipeline that, if built, would carry gas from the fracking fields of West Virginia into southwest Virginia. It has severe implications for our health, water, climate and communities. In fact, MVP has committed over 300 violations of commonsense water protections in Virginia alone, and its construction is not even close to complete yet. Now, the polluting corporations behind the project want to extend it into North Carolina into Rockingham and Alamance counties..

The MVP Southgate Project is not in the public interest. Not only will it create permanent adverse impacts on the local environment, it will also contribute to several more decades of global climate pollution. Studies show that existing gas infrastructure is more than sufficient to meet regional energy needs for residents and industry. Therefore, the primary beneficiaries of the pipeline will be private companies.

For more information, visit: www.noMVPsouthgate.org

Public Hearing Announced  for MVP Southgate 401 Permit

WHEN:        6 PM to 9 PM, Tuesday, November 19, 2019 

WHERE:      Rockingham Community College Advanced Technologies Auditorium

  215 Wrenn Memorial Road, Wentworth

Press release here

The state has the authority to approve or deny this project based on the stream crossing permit, or the 401 certificate. We were disappointed to hear that there would be only one hearing, rather than one in each county impacted, but we plan to coordinate as much carpooling and prep sessions as needed to make sure we do everything we can do get as much public engagement as possible.

The public is also invited to comment in writing on the application. Written comments must be received by DWR no later than 5 p.m. on Friday December 20, 2019. Please mail written comments to: 401 Permitting, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1617. Written comments may also be submitted via email to: PublicComments@ncdenr.gov. Please list “MVP Southgate” in the email’s subject line.

The application is available online and is also available at the DWR Winston Salem Regional Office located at 450 W. Hanes Mill Rd., Winston Salem, NC and may be inspected with an appointment between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding state holidays. For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Sue Homewood at 336-776-9693.

Resources:

Talking Points

Economic Report

Faulty Claims of Benefits

Guide to making comments

DEQ’s resource links

Scroll down to the MVP Southgate project link

Select Ver 3 for the most updated versions

of the permits and applications.

We need as many comments as possible to have the loudest voice. Unable to attend the hearing or a planning meeting? Send your comments by email or by mail.

Interested in hosting a comment party? We can help you! Contact Emily or Caroline to get it going.

Use this link to send a letter to your state representatives and SHARE this link.

Spread the word about this unnecessary project- we need a large voice to tell Cooper that NC does not need another fracked gas project. Share this link widely! We’re up to over 50 letters now.

WINS!

 This is a long fight, so let’s not forget the progress we’ve made.

  • Alamance County commissioners signed a unanimous resolution to oppose the pipeline project
  • Elon University student government signed a resolution to oppose the pipeline project
  • Stoneville signed a resolution to oppose the project
  • NC DEQ wrote a critical letter of the project, stating they saw no demonstrated need
  • Every local government body along the proposed route in Alamance County has heard a presentation or public comments from us in opposition of the pipeline project.
  • NCDEQ rejected MVP Southgate’s first attempt to apply for the 401 certificate.

Background on 401 Permit

Department of Environmental Quality denied the 401 certification permit (stream crossings) for the MVP Southgate project, a fracked gas pipeline proposal that would cross nearly one hundred streams and wetlands in the Haw River basin. With no Draft Environmental Impact Study published, MVP Southgate representatives have been denied this critical permit. They will be allowed to reapply after the Draft Environmental Impact Study has been reviewed. This denial and delay allows NC DEQ to retain their ability to deny or approve permits that have conditions dependent on the 401 certification.

What does this mean for the project?

The 401 certificate is the permit that allows pipeline projects to cross streams and wetlands. This permit is approved or denied at the state level, and is an effective tool for denying or delaying pipelines.

NC DEQ’s letter that was submitted to FERC on June 3rd states:

“The Division’ s March 2511 letter is hereby rescinded and, in accordance with 15A NCAC 02H .0507(e) and 15A NCAC 02B .0267, your application for a 401 Water Quality Certification and Jordan Lake Riparian Buffer Authorization is hereby denied. Once a Draft EIS has been issued and a preferred route is identified by FERC you may reapply to the Division”

MVP Southgate will reapply for this permit after the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is released in July and reviewed. To be clear, this fight is not over. We are thankful that DEQ is asking for more information and refusing the approve a permit without adequate documentation like other states have done.


What do we do now?
The draft Environmental Impact Statement will be a huge document and the start of a fast moving permitting process. The draft release will set off a comment period, and we need as many comments as possible. Let’s dream BIG. Be ready to engage in that process, and make sure everyone you know is ready. Here are some talking points and resources to make sure your familiar and confident discussing the issue.

Use this link to send a letter to your state representatives and SHARE this link.

This is a new petition, asking Rep. Dennis Riddell, Rep. Steven Ross, Sen, Rick Gunn, Sen. Phil Berger, and Rep. Jerry Carter to publicly oppose the pipeline project and engage in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement process. If these are your representatives, please use this form to send them a letter.

We will have another action alert for members outside of Alamance and Rockingham to target your representatives and Governor Cooper next month!

Spread the word about this unnecessary project- we need a large voice to tell Cooper that NC does not need another fracked gas project. Share this link widely! We’re up to over 50 letters now.


Spread the word about this pipeline. Use social media to inform your networks about this project. Tag @RepSteveRoss Facebook.com/srossnc in your posts!

Write Letters to the Editor and Op -Eds in local papers to keep a steady awareness on this issue.

Updates // Where do we go from here?
We have a link to the most updated route. Check it out here- https://drive.google.com/open?id=1cYisvKobU5XdAEAqWLDTmHKG3RQ45YjU&usp=sharing

A few dedicated volunteers have been collecting signatures in person for petitions to send to Riddell and Ross. Some folks collected signatures at Saturdays in Saxapahaw and collected nearly 50. Find the digital copies on the nomvpsouthgate.org website and print them if you’d like to help out.

Most of the surveying has been completed. This will inform the Draft Environmental Impact Statement which is scheduled for release in July.

There is an interest in hosting postcard writing parties as a part of the comment process for the DEIS. This would mean we would supply you with blank postcards and postage ready to send in written comments, and you invite all of your friends over to your own house to fill out as many comments as you’d like. Are you interested in hosting? Let me know!

 

This old oak on David Naylor’s land is threatened by the proposed MVP Southgate project. Thanks to Kim Hawks for the photo.

 

MVP Southgate has officially applied to FERC- Now what?

This means that they have officially applied to FERC and can start to work towards getting permits. However, not all of the surveying has been completed, and therefore, the Environmental Impact Statement cannot be completed. There are updated resources on their website to see what is being proposed.

However, NC DEQ sent a letter to the FERC docket, stating this project is unnecessary

“After examining filings made to both FERC and the NCUC and conducting our own research and outreach to better inform our understanding of this Southgate project, we remain unconvinced that the Southgate project is necessary. We question whether the project satisfies the criteria for the Commission to deem it in the public interest and whether it is essential to ensure future growth and prosperity for the residents of our State.”

Additionally, Alamance County Planning Department submitted a letter reminding FERC of the resolution to oppose the project, along with several water quality concerns. In a meeting with DEQ leadership, we learned that Alamance County would be responsible for issuing a stormwater permit for the project. The signed resolution could possibly prevent that permit from being issued.

 

Donate to Help Us Organize Against the Mountain Valley Pipeline:



These donations will be earmarked to create materials and mailings to organize in order to stop the pipeline. 

BACKGROUND

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a 303 mile pipeline being constructed to carry fracked gas from West Virginia into Virginia.  MVP has announced that they are working to get approval for an extension of that pipeline that will take it an additional 70 miles from southern Virginia into central North Carolina. The addition, the MVP Southgate project, will cut through Rockingham and Alamance counties, ending at a point just south and east of Graham, below 1-85-40.

General Information

  • Pipeline extension from Mountain Valley Pipeline mainline in Pittsylvania County, VA.
  • 70 miles of pipeline through Rockingham and Alamance County mostly in the Haw River watershed
  • Size of pipeline is could be up to 24” in diameter.
  • Pipeline will require  100’ of easement during construction,and a 50′ permanent easement.
  • Route will run adjacent to the Haw in many areas, cutting across sensitive streams and tributaries.
  • Destination is east of Graham and south of I-40-85
  • “Fracked” shale gas running through pipelines is sourced from the Utica and Marcellus shale fracking operations in WVA and PA, and is owned by PSNC.
  • Pre-filing permit processes will begin in May 2018. MVP will then hold community open houses though the route corridor to “identify and resolve environmental issues.”
  • MVP aims to begin construction by 2020.

Pipeline poses threats to our environment and communities

         The extractive process of fracking is destructive to land, air, and water quality in many ways, but the transport of the fracked gas also poses threats to downstream communities. In the construction process of pipelines, easements must be cleared of all trees and plants, exposing the disturbed land to erosion and causing sedimentation in streams. In-stream sedimentation not only carries nutrients and chemicals into the water, but the sediments themselves drown sensitive wildlife habitats in nearby streams. The MVP Southgate proposed route must cross several streams and tributaries. In order to do this, ditch lines are often blasted through rock and streams to lay the pipe. Streams are then dammed up and rerouted during trench construction, or drills cut a route under the stream using hydraulic motors and jet nozzles. Both of these processes destroy stream habitat. Potential leaks in pipes pose ongoing threats to water quality for downstream users. Fracked  gas is also highly explosive. Recent explosions have caused serious injuries and destroyed homes. By allowing this pipeline into our communities, we are tying ourselves to decades of fossil fuel use, resulting in high methane emissions and heightening our effect on climate change.

Join in the Opposition to Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate

Haw River Assembly, Sierra Club and Good Stewards of Rockingham are organizing community meetings and have made presentation to elected officials in the areas where Mountain Valley Pipeline Extension will go through – from Reidsville to Graham (see map above). To date, we have held meetings and presentations in Burlington, Wentworth, Swepsonville, Town of Haw River, Reidsville, Graham, Green Level and with the Alamance County Commissioners.

Are you a landowner who has been contacted by Mountain Valley Pipeline or Doyle Land Surveying?

Know your rights. You have the right to say NO. Your ability to refuse to negotiate and require the energy companies to use eminent domain is one of the most powerful statements you can make to protect your land. It gives you the most influence afforded to you by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The pipeline company does NOT have the right of eminent domain until they have been issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from FERC. Surveyors do not have the right to be on your private property without your permission.

Click here for more information about what your rights are as a property owner.

More Details about MVP Southgate

MVP has secured permits from PSNC, owned by Scana, owned by Dominion for construction of the pipeline. Piedmont Natural Gas, owned by Duke, owns the gas that will be pumped through. Duke and Dominion will buy and sell to each other to show a consumer need, but there will also be no checks and balances to keep prices low, so they could charge highest rates for construction and ask for rate hikes afterwards to cover costs.

Effects on the Haw

MVP maps show that it will run adjacent to the Haw through Rockingham and Alamance counties. The pipeline will cross many streams in the Haw River watershed, and alternative maps have shown crossing the Haw River twice. Not only is the destruction of the land and forest a threat to our watershed, but the processes used in stream crossings leave streams devastated. The pipes themselves have a high potential of leaking and natural gas pipeline explosions are not uncommon in the United States. There have been 4 since June, including 1 fatality.  MVP has a legacy of abusing community members and landowners by providing minimal compensation for land, or using eminent domain to take the land if landowners refuse.

Duke’s Integrated Resource Plan includes details for 50/50 conversions of unused coal plants to natural gas plants. If this proposed addition is allowed, we can expect more pipelines to connect to converted natural gas plants. This could mean a new pipeline through Guilford County to the  Belews Creek station.
More information, organizing materials, resources and updates can be found at this website:  “No Mountain Valley Pipeline”  http://www.nomvpsouthgate.org/