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Natural gas pipeline permit suspended


Rocky Mount Telegram

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

ROCKY MOUNT — Some property owners are cheering the suspension of a permit for an interstate natural gas pipeline through Nash County.

"This is good news for Nash Stop the Pipeline efforts against the proposed fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline," said Marvin Winstead, a pipeline opponent.

The Army Corps of Engineers last week suspended an essential permit for the pipeline, meaning developers cannot do any work on stream or wetland crossings along the pipeline's entire 600-mile route in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Known as Nationwide Permit 12, the permit authorized developers to build the gas pipeline through streams, rivers and waterways. The pipeline's path crosses more than 1,500 streams in North Carolina and the other two states.

"I am very appreciative of the fact that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has suspended an essential permit for the proposed project," Winstead said. "This means that there will be a closer examination of the extremely damaging impacts that the proposed ACP would have on our land, water resources and the air that we all breathe."

Winstead, a Nash County property owner, created Nash Stop the Pipeline to combat efforts by Duke Progress Energy and other utilities to run the pipeline from West Virginia to Robeson County, passing through Nash with a major pump station in neighboring Northampton County.

The suspension of the pipeline's work authorizations follows requests filed by the Sierra Club and other organizations, said Kelly Martin, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign.

“If the polluting corporations behind the ACP ever thought this would be easy, they know better now,” Martin said. “There is no right way to build this dirty, dangerous pipeline and we won’t stop fighting it until construction is permanently halted.”

Meanwhile, the temporary halt is a victory for Winstead and others who seemed to be fighting a losing battle against the pipeline.

"This is good news for the national and regional environmental groups that filed the law suits against the proposed ACP that resulted in this action," Winstead said. "I agree with the statements made by Kelly Martin and the representatives for the other groups. It is very good news for our local group, Nash Stop the Pipeline, a Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League chapter.

“I am very happy that our court system protected our environment when our elected officials have failed to do so,” Winstead said.