FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 21, 2020
Louis Zeller (336) 982-2691
Rev. Reatha Jefferson (843) 395-1241
Kathy Andrews (843) 698-9816
Residents Call for Public Hearing on Pipeline
Today residents living on the proposed route of a new natural gas pipeline in Florence County South Carolina announced their request for a public hearing under the Clean Water Act. Adopting the name Pamplico Pipeline Defense Committee, the group seeks to protect property owners and residents living in the path of a 14.5 mile, 16-inch gas line proposed by Dominion Energy South Carolina.
According to a letter filed on behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, public participation and hearings are required under the law for major projects such as the proposed River Neck-Kingsburg intrastate pipeline.
Lou Zeller, BREDL Executive Director, said, "Approval of a massive gas pipeline through South Carolina without holding a public hearing would violate the mandates of the federal Clean Water Act." The purpose of the mandate is to ensure that the interests of the affected community and the general public are considered before such projects are approved. Zeller added, "There are substantial issues which must be raised, including impacts on wetlands and water quality, the company's safety record and the need for the project."
Rev. Reatha Jefferson, an heir to property on the pipeline's proposed route, said, "Please stand with us to protect our environment and to help us block Dominion Energy from destroying our lives."
Residents' concerns about the project include methane gas leaks, potential explosions, disrupted streams and riverbeds, and destruction of miles of natural forest and habitat. Dominion recently cancelled a major interstate gas project, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would have crossed West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Repairs of the tree-cutting and excavation damage caused by the cancelled project have not been determined.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of infection, Zeller added that the public hearing should be scheduled only after confirmation that the risk of transmission has subsided.
The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League was founded in 1984 in North Carolina. Today, the group has members and projects in six southeastern states.
South Carolina Environmental Law Project Letter