Judge Halts Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Land-Grab Attempt Stay on Eminent Domain Requested by Impacted Landowners Granted
Raleigh- In a July 24th ruling, US District Judge Terrence Boyle extended a stay on
Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s (ACP) request to use “quick-take” proceedings in order to gain access
to properties along the route of the pipeline. “Quick take” allows the company to gain access to
land even though adjudication of compensation has not occurred.
BREDL submits comments to EPA regarding Draft PFAS recommendations
Jun 10, 2019: The EPA interim recommendations for addressing groundwater contaminated with PFOA and PFOS needs to be expanded to include all PFAS as a class. Any talk of cleanup needs to examine previous industrial sites that probably emitted/discharged PFAS chemicals. All areas of PFAS contamination – soil, surface and ground water, air and food – need to be properly
addressed. In addition to the class of PFAS, short-chain replacement chemicals that convey similar health impacts – such as GenX – also need to be included.
The federal government is hell-bent on fast tracking projects that harm the environment. For a change, how about fast tracking a plan that will clean up the entire class of PFAS contaminants and their short-chain replacements?
24-hour Vigil for Justice calls on Governor Northam and AG Herring to Protect People and Environment over Pipelines
Mar. 27, 2019: Richmond, VA—Today in a peaceful, spiritual event, allied groups led by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and Virginia Pipeline Resisters came together from across the Commonwealth to begin a 24-hour Vigil for Justice held outside the Governor’s Office. The action began with a Unity Rally with speakers who live along the routes of both the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.
The group prayed, read poems, shared stories, and read statements from landowners. They also displayed photo posters depicting the devastation current construction of the MVP is causing in Southwest Virginia.
Documents Reveal North Carolina Governor Colluding with Atlantic Coast Pipeline
to Monitor Pipeline Opponents
Feb. 11, 2019: Documents obtained through the North Carolina Public Records Act by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) show that the Cooper administration is collaborating with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in their surveillance of opponents statewide and in communities impacted by the pipeline. The records came from the Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Feb. 4, 2019: Union Hill resident and BREDL chapter Concern for the New Generation (CNG) member, Ruby Laury spoke clearly and calmly, “Governor Northam must resign. I don’t condemn him, but he must resign.” In a statement released by Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s Executive Director Louis Zeller said, “We’ve seen the vulgar racism exhibited by Governor Northam in his medical school yearbook before. It is no less harmful than that of the battle-flag crowd. Both have significant, pernicious and negative consequences on people’s lives.”
BREDL Statement regarding Virginia Governor Ralph Northam
Feb. 4, 2019: The vulgar racism exhibited by the governor in medical school is no less harmful than that of the battle-flag crowd. Both have significant, pernicious and negative consequences on people’s lives. In the recent Union Hill compressor station debate, racism was side-stepped. It can no longer be avoided. The governor’s motives may be unclear, but his actions are not. His failure to recognize abhorrent behavior in medical school is mirrored by his similarly hurtful actions directed at the residents of Union Hill. The pattern is striking. Governor Northam’s racist blind spot is a feature of his actions, then and now. He should step down.
BREDL Lambasts Citizen Board for its Decision to Approve Air Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline Compressor Station
Jan. 8, 2019: Richmond, VA—The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) lambasted the citizen State Air Pollution Control Board (SAPCB) today for its approval of the air permit for the Buckingham compressor station for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Kathie Mosley, BREDL Vice President and chair of Union Hill’s Chapter, Concern for the New Generation, called the decision “a travesty.” Mosley shared, “Those of us who live in Union Hill have been ignored through the entire permitting process. We had hoped the Air Board would acknowledge the fact that we are an Environmental Justice community. This won’t stop us from fighting. We will consider challenging the decision in court.”
BREDL calls out Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
For attempts to Erase the Black Lives of Union Hill Residents
Jan. 3, 2019: Lovingston, VA—The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) today called out the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for its attempts to erase the lives and history of the Union Hill community while misleading the State Air Pollution Control Board (SAPCB) regarding the proposed compressor station site for Dominion Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Sept. 16, 2019: Excerpts from our comments:
FERC must immediately stop work on the MVP-mainline project, halt the Southgate DEIS process, and return to square one. FERC must consider and evaluate these two projects - dependent on each other – in one environmental document.
There are too many instances of incomplete data or lack of information mentioned throughout the DEIS. This DEIS should not have been released for public comment until the information was completed.
BREDL requests that the edge of the Southgate pipeline's Additional Temporary Work Space be moved a minimum of 500 feet west of its current location, in order to buffer Little Cherrystone and its cemetery and mound from ground disturbances and visual impairment.
The assessment offered by the DEIS fails to consider dozens of uranium mining leases.
The Department of Energy has put out a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Statement for a Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). U.S. DOE is looking to locate VTR at either the Idaho National Lab or Oak Ridge, TN.
BREDL Comments on VDOT Martinsville Southern Connector Study
Aug. 23, 2019: The Reconstruct/Fix U.S. 220 option was dismissed and not continued to the alternative phase, resulting in a situation where only fully access-controlled freeways on new alignment are being considered. According to the August 2019 VDOT video presentation, the level of access control will be evaluated and could change once the preferred alternative advances to the final design stage.
The exclusive focus on fully access-controlled freeways on new alignment at this stage of the study prejudices other alternatives, including that of fixing the existing U.S. 220 alignment using techniques being studied through VDOT's Arterial Preservation Program (APP).
BREDL Comments on U.S. Forest Service Proposed NEPA Revisions
Aug. 21, 2019: We are adamantly opposed to changes with §220.4 General requirements. Paragraphs (d) and (e). Currently, Section Paragraph (e) (1) states “ Scoping is required for all Forest Service proposed actions, including those that would appear to be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or an EIS.” The
proposed NEPA change would limit public notice and scoping to only proposed actions that will be documented
with a decision memo, EA or EIS.
The Notice for this Proposed Action states, “The Proposed rule outlines an approach for ‘right-sizing’ the public engagement and scoping processes to each proposed action.” We would strongly disagree. The proposed rule, rather than right-sizing public engagement appears to be capsizing that engagement.
Draft Supplement Analysis of the Complex Transformation Supplemental
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Aug. 12, 2019: We hereby request that The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration do a new EIS as
required under existing statutes and case law. NNSA’s pit production mission was emphasized as a national security imperative by the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review. For many reasons, the argument for this mission can be
shown to be specious and ill-advised. On the other hand, if it were shown to be valid, it is a major action for which an Environmental Impact Statement would be required. International treaty obligations and U.S. law prohibit further development of atomic
weapons. The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty compels the United States to end nuclear weapons development.
BREDL comments on scoping notice for Plutonium Pit Production at SRS
July 25, 2019: Before proceeding with its environmental impact review, the US Department of Energy must do what should have been done decades ago; i.e., determine the public health impact of radioactive and toxic air pollutants from Savannah River Site in the Central Savannah River Area. There is an overarching reason for action: the specter of environmental injustice overshadows SRS.
Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash interviews
An interview with members of the Executive Team of North Carolina's Northampton County Citizens Against Coal Ash talk about their fight to prevent Vista Green from putting an enormous coal ash dump in their county. Interviews and Video from Ken and Deborah Ferruccio, Environmental Educators and Activists
Safeguard America's Resources
The League comments to FERC regarding Return on Equity
June 26, 2019: FERC’s mission is to assist consumers to obtain economical, safe, reliable, and secure energy services at a reasonable cost. But artificially high incentives in pipeline development are causing excessive pipeline
construction and needless community devastation.
BREDL comments to FERC on the Draft National Register of Historic Places Nomination for the Coles-Terry Rural Historic District impacted by Mountain Valley Pipeline
May 31, 2019: BREDL comments that there is a failure to designate all applicable national register criteria. The Draft National Register of Historic Places Nomination for the Coles-Terry Rural Historic District (“Nomination”) designates that the CTRHD is qualified for National Register listing under Criterion A as a property “associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history”. On page 14, the Nomination
designates “agriculture” as the area of significance in which the District is eligible under Criterion A. There are no other National Register criteria listed besides Criterion A, and no other areas of significance listed besides “Agriculture”. The Nomination's treatment of the National Register criteria applicable to the CTRHD should also include Criteria C and D.
BREDL also points out problems with the Nomination's definition of district boundaries. The first problem with the Nomination's treatment of boundaries for the CTRHD stems from the unsubstantiated decision to expand the eastern boundary of the district to include a significant number of suburban homes built within the last 50 years. The district's boundaries as they appear in the Preliminary Information Form are the product of weeks of painstaking on-the-ground surveys performed in an effort to exclude non-
contributing suburban homes that have been built in many parts of the Bent Mountain community over the past 50 years.
BREDL and our chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff comment on Plant Vogtle NPDES Permit
May 30, 2019: We maintain that the EPD’s inclusion of mitigation in a water withdrawal permit was the wrong measure in the wrong place. It was unfair and contrary to the law for NPDES measures—
accounting for chemical and thermal discharges to waters of the United States—to be allowed through the back door of a water withdrawal permit.
BREDL Comments on Columbia Gas Shenandoah Compressor Station in Page County, VA Draft Title V Air Permit
April 1, 2019: BREDL comments included: "40 to 85 percent of the fuel burned produces no electric power. But air pollution and global
warming gases are created by combustion whether power is produced or not. Moreover, how the turbines are managed and the conditions under which they operate affect efficiency and air pollution emissions."
"The potential emissions of formaldehyde may affect the children attending the Page
County High School and Middle School ... each located less than a mile from the Shenandoah Compressor Station."
"The DEQ must take steps to reduce this and other hazardous air pollutants at this compressor station."
NRC letter officially terminating the construction authorization for the Plutonium Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River Site
posted Feb. 28, 2019: In 1997, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League launched the Southern Anti-plutonium Campaign, the goal of which was to stop the plutonium fuel factory at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and prevent the expansion of the worldwide plutonium energy economy. Over the decades, we challenged Dominion’s and Duke Energy’s plans to use the fuel at nuclear power plants. Our campaign allied with non-governmental organizations in Russia, Great Britain, France, Japan as well as the US. BREDL spoke at many public forums including Augusta, Charlotte, Washington, Moscow, Saratov and Krasnoyarsk and at the G-8 in Okinawa. We placed the issue before the United Nations at Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty meetings in New York. The February 8, 2019 termination of the construction authorization by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the final domino to fall in this dangerous and expensive project. Five billion taxpayer dollars were spent. Final construction cost estimates ballooned to $17 billion, over 400% of the original estimate. But the project was defeated, thanks to the many who acted on the belief that “one person speaking alone may not be heard, but many people speaking with one voice cannot be ignored.”
Feb. 4, 2019: BREDL calls upon the NC Utilities Commission to reject the Integrated Resource Plan submitted by Dominion Energy North Carolina and require a cleaner, smarter plan. And we support similar calls directed towards Duke Energy’s plan.
BREDL sends letter to VA DEQ inquiring about delay in scheduling Public Hearing regarding MVP 401 Certification revocation
Jan. 16, 2019: The letter reads, "I would like an explanation why a date for the hearing to begin the process regarding revocation of the 401 water certification for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline has not been set.
It seems the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) is attempting to slow walk the direction given to you by the State Water Control Board (SWCB) at its December 13, 2018 meeting. This is an important meeting to prevent further degradation of the waters of the Commonwealth. As you are well aware, MVP has perpetrated over 300 violations by its poor construction methods and soil & erosion techniques through November 14, as described by your own staff. These violations resulted in a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General. Yet over a month after the direction given to VADEQ staff by the SWCB, this meeting has not been scheduled."