Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate Extension: proposed pipeline to transport fracked gas through Alamance and Rockingham counties
The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a 303 mile pipeline being constructed to carry fracked gas from West Virginia into Virginia. MVP is 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.
There have been multiple publications citing the lack of need for additional pipeline infrastructure and fossil fuel sources in North Carolina and across the southeast. North Carolina is one of the leading states in solar power, and Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 80 commits us to lowering Greenhouse Gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels. New pipeline projects do not fall within that commitment.
Federal judge upholds ban on process for permitting pipelines, including Mountain Valley
Environmentalists have argued for years that the Army Corps’ process, called a Nationwide Permit 12, takes a “blanket approach” that does not adequately assess a pipeline’s crossing of each stream or wetland in its path.
“Constructing pipelines through rivers, streams and wetlands without analyzing the impacts on imperiled species is unconscionable, and we will continue to fight to protect vulnerable species, our waters and the climate from such reckless development,” Jared Margolis, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.
How this 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.
Effects on the Haw
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.
- 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.
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.
- City of Burlington writes critical comments to oppose the project
- 39 state legislators sign a letter to oppose the project
- Over 30 people turn out to speak in November 2019 against MVP’s second attempt to get a 401 certification for stream crossing impacts. (We expect to hear in February what NCDEQ decides)