A new corps of volunteers forms to be watchdogs for pipeline impacts

Last week our NC Pipeline Watch Program launched with volunteer training in Robeson County, North Carolina. Volunteers learned how to monitor pipeline construction activities, identify required pollution control measures, determine if those measures are preventing water quality impacts, and how to document and report observed problems along the planned pipeline route.

The Robeson County training session was the first scheduled under the NC Pipeline Watch Initiative. In August, Winyah Rivers joined with Sierra Club, Sound Rivers, and Cape Fear River Watch to announce that we would monitor construction of the fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The 600 mile ACP, a project of Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company Gas, will originate in West Virginia, travel through Virginia and continue into North Carolina. 200 miles of the ACP will run through eastern North Carolina, through communities and across waterways in 5 major river basins, including the Lumber River watershed, before terminating in the Prospect community of Pembroke in Robeson County.

Advocacy continues with both the federal and state regulators to oppose construction of the ACP. However, because there is currently some on the ground activity, and because we aim to be proactive rather than reactive, we launched the NC Pipeline Watch Program. In doing so, we intend to raise awareness of the potential environmental impacts and, should construction begin, want to ensure ACP fully complies with regulations intended to protect people and our waterways from pollution.

Trained volunteers and staff with the Sierra Club, Sound Rivers, Winyah Rivers and Cape Fear River Watch will monitor ACP construction activities by water, land, and air. By engaging trained volunteer observers, we are working to ensure that bad practices and resultant water quality violations are reported to and addressed by the NC Department of Environmental Quality.

Together we are working to prevent harm to our waterways and our communities from construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Become a pipeline watch volunteer. Attend an upcoming training workshop.

Learn more at ncpipelinewatch.org.