• As Pipeline Construction Booms, Citizens Take Inspections Into Their Own Hands

    By: Brittany Patterson, WV Public Broadcasting August 29, 2019 On a recent hot, August weekend, about a dozen citizens spent three days along the route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Armed with cameras, smartphones and drones the volunteers traveled portions of the pipeline’s route under construction from Monroe to Doddridge counties. “There was several things that we saw,” said Summers County resident and organic farmer Neal Laferriere. Laferriere organized the three-day “violations blitz.” He said volunteers documented small problems like poorly-maintained erosion controls as well as much larger ones. “Sediment-laden water in one situation was overflowing…


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  • Federal Court Tosses Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Key Endangered Species Permits

    By: Brittany Patterson, WV Public Broadcasting July 26, 2019 A federal court has thrown out two key permits for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. U.S. 4th Circuit Court Chief Judge Robert Gregory said in an opinion issued Friday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t adhere to its mandate to protect endangered species when it fast-tracked re-issuing two permits to the natural gas project proposed to go through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. “In fast-tracking its decisions, the agency appears to have lost sight of its mandate under the ESA: ‘to protect and conserve endangered and threatened…


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  • Controversial Duke Energy ratemaking bill stalls in North Carolina

    By: Elizabeth Ouzts, Energy News Network July 24, 2019 The proposal would allow state regulators to approve multiyear rate increases based on projected spending. A controversial North Carolina bill to allow regulators to approve multiyear rate increases for Duke Energy is stalled in the Republican-controlled General Assembly. Authored by leaders of both parties, Senate Bill 559 cleared the Senate in May and looked poised for passage by the House of Representatives earlier this month.  But it was pulled from the full House calendar July 10, reassigned to committee the following week, and hasn’t been debated or discussed since. The maneuvers are a strong sign…


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  • Five years after Dan River coal ash spill, Duke Energy settlement would add land to Mayo State Park

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch July 22, 2019 The Mayo River in Mayo State Park, Rockingham County (Photo: NC State Parks) This story has been updated with news regarding the purchase and transferal of the 64 acres by Duke Energy. A settlement between Duke Energy and state and federal officials over the 2014 Dan River spill would impose no significant financial penalties, but it would preserve key tracts of land along the Mayo River, according to court documents. Announced Friday, the…


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  • DEQ denies water quality permit for MVP Southgate natural gas pipeline

    By: Lisa Sorg, NC Policy Watch June 13, 2019 The Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgateproject encountered another setback this week, when the NC Department of Environmental Quality rejected a key water quality permit, a federal requirement for the plan to continue. Although DEQ had repeatedly asked for information for more than six months, MVP Southgate hadn’t provided a full accounting of stream crossings and other impacts on waterways to the department. Without the additional information, DEQ couldn’t evaluate the application before a federal deadline, according to a letter from Linda Culpepper, director of the Division of Water Resources. MVP Southgate has known of the federal timetable since…


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  • NC utility rate bill ignites a fight over who pays

    By: Ned Barnett, Raleigh News & Observer May 25, 2019 About 40 environmental advocates visited the Legislative Building last Tuesday with a mission to stop what they see as a potential massive cost shift from Duke Energy to its customers. Their target is Senate Bill 559, legislation that they say could make it easier for Duke Energy to pass on costs that should be paid by the utility and its shareholders. Customer advocates say passing on “grid modernization” costs alone could raise the average residential customer bill by $400 a year over a 10-year period and large industrial customers could see their…


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  • Standing Together Against Coal Ash Injustice

    The news was announced on April Fools Day, but it was no joke! DEQ (TheNC Dept. of Environmental Quality), backed by strong science, stood with coal ash communities in their decision to order Duke Energy to excavate coal ash from every remaining site in the state and move it into lined landfills. Duke Energy wasted no time in rebuking DEQ, speaking scathingly about the ordered clean-up, and leveraging its power to safeguard its own interests, but NC residents, businesses, and organizations, will not be standing down. On April 2, Senate…


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  • Victory for Coal Ash Communities Across NC!

    You did it! You spoke out against injustice, and won! On April 1st, DEQ announced that communities across North Carolina will have toxic coal ash removed from unlined, leaking pits and placed in lined landfills. Since the Dan River spill 5 years ago, impacted coal ash community members and advocates have been coming together to demand cleanup of the coal ash that Duke Energy dumped in their communities. There have been countless letters written, phone…


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  • Solicitor Gen., Atlantic Coast Pipeline seek more time to appeal case to Supreme Court

    The Charleston Gazette-Mail, May 27, 2019 By Kate Mishkin The federal government and Atlantic Coast Pipeline will have more time to appeal a lower court’s ruling that halted the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Noel Francisco, the solicitor general, wrote to the U.S. Supreme Court asking to move the deadline to June 25 — one month after the initial deadline. The ACP subsequently filed a request for an extension to file a petition for a writ of certiorari, or a request that the Supreme Court hear the case. Chief Justice John Roberts granted the request. “The additional time sought in this application…


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