"Safeguard America’s Resources: Land, Air, Water and Energy."
This multi-state campaign extends across the BREDL region. We understand that natural gas issues are interconnected: fracking, waste management, pipelines, landowner rights, exports, compressor stations, power plants, and air and water pollution. We must act for the safety and health of our communities, the preservation of this land the protection of the planet. Join us.
BREDL files Title VI Environmental Justice Complaint with EPA against the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
regarding the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
June 20, 2018: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and its Virginia chapters, Protect Our Water, Concern for the New Generation and No ACP, filed a Title VI civil rights complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) office of External Civil Rights Compliance Office (ECRCO). BREDL’s Stop the Pipelines Campaign Coordinator, Sharon Ponton, stated, “The 26-page complaint tells the story of VADEQ’s segmented process for 401 water quality certification and asks the EPA to void the certification until a thorough environmental justice analysis is completed. We believe we have presented a strong case indicating the environmental justice communities along the path of the proposed ACP will be disproportionately impacted by health impacts from pollution caused by toxic, polluting pipeline infrastructure and its contributions to global warming from leaks and its compressor station, as well as the health affects from noise and toxic emissions from its compressor stations. The complaint also outlines disproportionate impacts from possible threats to water supplies, safety related issues from discriminatory construction rules, and property loss through eminent domain.”
Sioux Tribal historic preservationists conduct survey of Mountain Valley Pipeline
May 29, 2018: ROCKY MOUNT, VA—A team consisting of seven Sioux tribal historic preservationists surveyed the Mountain Valley Pipeline project area in Franklin and Roanoke Counties, VA last week, and the data generated by their survey may be used in a legal challenge to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s process of working with Native American tribes as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The seven team members drove from their homes in the Rosebud Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, and Pine Ridge Sioux reservations in South Dakota to Wirtz, Virginia, where they were hosted by members of Preserve Franklin, a chapter of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. The team walked the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) corridor on properties in Rocky Mount, Boones Mill, Callaway, and Bent Mountain where landowners had given permission for the survey.
Groups File Civil Rights Complaint against NC DEQ regarding Atlantic Coast Pipeline
May 15, 2018: BREDL and our chapters Concerned Stewards of Halifax County, Nash Stop the Pipeline, Wilson County No Pipeline, No Pipeline Johnston County and Cumberland County Caring Voices along with the groups NC WARN,
Clean Water for NC, EcoRobeson, Concerned Citizens of Tillery, Concerned Citizens of Northampton County, Friends of the Earth and NC Environmental Justice Network have filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. EPA against the NC DEQ.
The Environmental Justice Groups allege NC DEQ discriminated on the basis of race and color in issuing permits and certifications to the ACP as part of the permitting process. The failure to assess the environmental justice impacts of the proposed ACP on communities of color along the route led to the improper actions taken by NC DEQ.
Valerie Williams, a member of Concerned Stewards of Halifax County and an African American landowner in Halifax County, said: “The land is our family tree and it speaks of legacies, heritage, and memories. No one would take that away from us.” She resolves, “No pipelines on our valuable historic farms. No Intruders on our land.”
Please visit nopipeline.net to view inspirational videos featuring landowners affected by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Contact Governor Cooper today and tell him to STOP THIS PIPELINE!
Roanoke Times article highlights MVP contractor's citations for environmental issues
Feb. 18, 2018: On today's front page of The Roanoke Times, the paper reports on the Mountain Valley Pipeline contractor's citations for environmental issues on three previous projects. These pipeline projects are the Stonewall Gathering, Rover and Mariner EAst 2.
Larry Armes of WVHL (Farmville, VA) interviews BREDL's Lou Zeller regarding the Buckingham Circuit Court's decision to dismiss the case by Judge William Alexander
Jan 30, 2018: Lou Zeller, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, calls in to talk about the Buckingham Circuit Court's decision to dismiss the case by Judge William Alexander. At issue is the pollution, noise and unfair selection of the site for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Compressor Station.
BREDL comments on Air Quality permit for proposed Northampton Compressor Station along proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Nov. 20, 2017: This new facility would move gas along the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If permitted, the Northampton Compressor Station would be a major source of air pollution. The NC Department of Environmental Quality draft permit incorrectly allows the facility to be a minor source, a violation of the federal Clean Air Act.
The League comments to Virginia State Water Control Board regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline
Oct. 22, 2017: On behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) and our members and chapters in Virginia, I respectfully submit these comments regarding the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) responsibilities to the citizens of the commonwealth concerning water quality as it relates to erosion and sedimentation issues from the proposed
Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).
Wilson County, NC passes Resolution expressing its reservations regarding Atlantic Coast Pipeline creating Development Dead Zones
Oct. 17, 2017: Atlantic Coast Pipeline will create, according to the resolution, a “development dead zone” 1,300 feet wide by 12 miles long running through the heart of western Wilson County. And that would lower property values and “adversely affect” both residents and Wilson County as a whole.
League Blasts Pipeline Decisions
Impacted Communities Remain United against the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines
Oct. 16, 2017: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) strongly condemns the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) October 13, 2017 decision to grant conditional approval for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. The agency granted the certification even though important environmental permits are still in question in three states.
Franklin County Citizens Hold People’s Hearing on Mountain Valley Pipeline
Aug. 17, 2017: Boones Mill, VA – On Thursday evening, members of Preserve Franklin, Preserve Floyd and Preserve Roanoke, grassroots chapters of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, held a People’s Hearing on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Having been denied a hearing by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Franklin County residents and their neighbors in Bent Mountain, Floyd and Roanoke organized their own hearing in which to comment on the 401 Water Certification currently being reviewed by the State Water Control Board.
BREDL files Complaint with VA Attorney General regarding VA DEQ water permitting for pipeline crossings
Aug. 15, 2017: BREDL calls upon Virginia DEQ to require individual permits for each stream and water body crossed by a pipeline. Our review indicates that the site-specific permitting process is lawful, necessary and prudent. Failure to comply would result in degradation of the environment and adverse impacts on public health.
BREDL Recommends VA DEQ Postpone 401 Water Certification Process
Aug. 3, 2017: “The watersheds in the upland areas of the proposed pipeline routes affect the water quality of millions of Virginians; they cannot be ignored or neglected by a faulty DEQ permitting process.”
BREDL comments to Virginia State Water Control Board regarding MVP and ACP
July 19, 2017:
The further development of fracked gas pipelines and compressor stations in Virginia would be an environmental and public health disaster of epic proportions. Explosions, fires and accidents may steal the headlines, but the even greater catastrophe would be the silent progression of disease and death caused by the invisible contamination of the air, water and soil. We are calling on the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the State Water Control Board (SWCB) to do whatever they can to halt this man-made, preventable tragedy.
BREDL comments on NPDES permit for Elba Liquefaction Company in Chatham County, GA
July 20, 2017: The location of a liquefied natural gas plant in close proximity to a city of 145,000 people and an elementary school indicates appalling judgment on the part of both the company in locating at the site and the state in permitting the facility.
Comments by BREDL Chapter Preserve Roanoke to MVP's May 10th Cultural Resources Filing
July 12, 2017: In these comments, we criticize the flawed methodology employed by MVP’s historic preservation consultant, Tetra Tech, in its assessment of the MVP pipeline’s impacts to historic resources in Virginia, and demand that the assessment be done over in a correct and appropriate manner.
The League Sends Request to NC Governor to halt Permitting on ACP
April 10, 2017: Gov. Cooper, on behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and our North Carolina chapters Nash Stop the Pipeline, Cumberland County Caring Voices, Wilson County No Pipeline, No Pipeline Johnston County, and Concerned Stewards of Halifax County, I request that you take immediate executive action halting all permitting by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state agencies until an investigation takes place into the continually changing circumstances surrounding the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Stop The Pipeline–ROLL BACK POLLUTION
April 4 to 11
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and chapters will take to the highways and byways of North Carolina and Virginia for eight days in April on a barnstorming tour of communities threatened by natural gas pipelines. The Stop The Pipeline—Roll Back Pollution campaign will feature Lois Marie Gibbs, the national leader of the grassroots environmental movement since 1981. The roadshow will track the routes of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Multistate Groups' Legal Move Calls for Do-Over on Pipeline Impact
On Monday, January 23, 2017 Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), BREDL chapters and other environmental groups filed a motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to rescind and/or supplement the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) the agency released on December 30, 2016. The need for this action became clear after Dominion and its partners (including Duke Energy) in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline added thousands of pages of additional information obviously prepared before the DEIS was issued, on January 10, 2017. The motion also requests that the FERC “hold the public comment period in abeyance” until the supplemental DEIS is issued.
Union Hill Residents Meet with EPA
To Continue Fight Against
Atlantic Coast Pipeline Compressor Station
Jan. 11, 2017: Buckingham County, VA—Members of Concern for the New Generation (CNG), a grassroots group from the Union Hill and Union Grove communities, will take a 6-hour drive to Philadelphia Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 to meet with representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region III . The group will request that the EPA step in to protect the people who live close to the proposed plant site.
All Pipeline Options Rejected by Mountain Organizations
Environmental Impact Statement Fatally Flawed
Dec. 22, 2016: Today, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), in comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, called upon the agency to select the no-build option for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. In its analysis of the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, BREDL found many flaws and a lack of thorough study and documentation, from erosion and sedimentation to electromagnetic effects when pipelines are near high voltage electric lines.
Report on Air and Noise Pollution Reveals Fatal Flaws in Permit
for Proposed Buckingham Compressor Station
Dec. 14, 2016: The report, subtitled “Unfair, Illegal and Unjust,” concludes that the Buckingham County Planning Commission failed with respect to its legal obligation to ensure that the facility does not have a disproportionate impact on Buckingham’s African American community.
Oct. 27, 2016: Franklin County, Virginia— Today, artists, landowners, and eco-activists celebrated the launch of Woven Gaze: Eyes of the Earth. Conceived by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL), the unveiling of the project involved many coordinated efforts of people throughout the region; leadership for this launch included Steve and Anne Bernard, Kelly Love and Carolyn Reilly.
Pipeline Opponents Say County Deceived Residents
Demand NO Easement Agreement
Oct. 18, 2016: Franklin County, VA – Today at a public hearing, opponents of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline presented their arguments against an easement agreement to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors. Many landowners expressed outrage at the deception by the Board about its position on the agreement.
BREDL Comments on Buckingham Co., VA Special Use Permit for proposed Natural Gas Compressor
Sept. 26, 2016: Unwanted, unpleasant noise is a growing public health problem. Industrial sources of noise such as natural gas compressor stations commonly disrupt communities. But the economic considerations of special interest groups cannot be allowed to take precedence over the right to be secure in one’s home.
"Protectors" Proclaim: Pipelines are DIRTY BUSINESS
Sept. 22, 2016: Roanoke, Virginia—Residents from across the region joined forces this morning to shine a light on Governor McAuliffe's ill-conceived support of two proposed 42-inch fracked gas transmission pipelines—the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. The protest, dubbed "Pipelines are DIRTY Business" was held outside the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce where Governor McAuliffe attended the Roanoke Clean Energy Business Roundtable.
Proposed Buckingham Compressor Station Buckingham County, VA High Levels of Air Pollution Would Be Emitted
Updated Aug. 2016: Dominion Transmission, Inc. wants to build a series of compressor stations to move gas through the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If constructed, the Buckingham
Compressor Station would have four natural gas-powered turbines with a total of 40,715 horsepower operating 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
BREDL Comments on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Proposal to Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permits
Aug. 1, 2016: BREDL’s comments on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Proposal to Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permit 12 for Utility Line Activities (“NWP 12”), and specifically the use of the permit to regulate the construction of gas pipelines. In support of healthy communities and clean environments, we call for the exclusion of gas pipeline projects in the mid-Atlantic mountain region from coverage under Nationwide Permit 12.
Residents’ Report Findings on Pipeline to Franklin County:
Billion Dollar Disaster and Archaeological Destruction
June 21, 2016: Franklin County, VA— Today the Franklin County Board of Supervisors heard from concerned citizens regarding the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). During the citizen comment period, two presenters detailed major financial and historical factors against the pipeline.
FOIA Documents Reveal Lack of Neutrality in County BOS Franklin County’s Governing Body Exposed
May 17, 2016: Frankin County, VA – Today, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) Community Organizer Carolyn Reilly presented to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors (BOS) the long-awaited findings from their FOIA request. In documents obtained by Preserve Franklin, a BREDL chapter, Reilly found clear evidence that the BOS is not taking a neutral stand on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).
Activists Dub McAuliffe “The Pipeline Planter” at
Private Event held at Public State Park
May 5, 2016: Huddleston, Virginia—Protesters for both the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines met
at the Smith Mountain Lake State Park this afternoon to mock Governor McAuliffe’s attempted
greenwashing of his environmental record by planting trees in the State Park. One protester, wearing a
suit and McAuliffe mask, held a dead tree in one arm with a sign saying, “I’m a tree killer.” In the other
arm, he held a pipeline with a sign that said, “I’m a pipeline planter.”
Virginia Gas Pipeline Opponents Invite “Keystone Killer” Jane Kleeb to Speak at Public Events
April 20, 2016: Community groups across Virginia who are fighting the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines have invited Jane Kleeb to Virginia to share her experience of bringing together an unlikely alliance of landowners, farmers, ranchers and Tribal Nations to fight the Keystone XL pipeline.
Kleeb is president of Bold Nebraska and the Bold Alliance. She earned the nickname "Keystone Killer" in Rolling Stone Magazine for her role in successfully stopping the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska.
Friday, April 22 Venues:
Boones Mill (10am) Heatherwood Apartments, Community Room, 1009 Heatherwood Drive, Boones Mill, VA 24065
Roanoke (12pm) Unitarian Universalist Church, 2015 Grandin Rd. S.W. Roanoke, VA 24015
Virginia Tech (2:30pm) Atrium, Major William Hall, 220 Stanger St. Blacksburg, VA 24061
April 2016: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expecting an application for a site permit from the Tennessee Valley Authority to build a new type of nuclear powered electric generating plant near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The application is expected on or before May 12, 2016. BREDL staff and volunteers attended the NRC’s recent public meeting about the project and is working with local residents who are concerned about TVA’s plans.
BREDL and WACE file Legal Challenge against Proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline
Mar. 10, 2016: Today anti-pipeline groups announced a new legal challenge to the proposed Sabal Trail pipeline. The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its chapter Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy have filed a request for rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, challenging the recent Order of Approval issued by the federal agency. The challenge centers on three issues: economics, environmental justice and eminent domain.
League Files Mountain Valley Pipeline Intervention Finds 3 Fatal Flaws in Pipeline Permit
Nov. 24, 2015: Today Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) took legal action to challenge the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) by filing a motion to intervene and protest the process. After a careful review of MVPs resource reports regarding the proposed project, the League cited crucial information that challenges the MVP’s request for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity on three grounds.
BREDL moves to intervene regarding proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Nov. 6, 2015: Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League expanded its legal challenge of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline based on new information from the United States Forest Service. BREDL soil scientist Jeff Walker stated: “This is obviously a violation of protocol and indicates, at the very least, improper oversight. The company needs to go back to the drawing board and begin the process again.” BREDL organizer Sharon Ponton, a resident of Nelson County, Virgina, stated: “If Dominions cuts corners and tries to weasel out of the protocols set by the US Forest Service, what are they doing to private property owners whose soil is at risk? We cannot trust them.”
League Demands that the FERC Extend Comment Period Hold Additional Public Hearings
June 18, 2015: The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) made a specific demand to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in its comments on Wednesday, June 16, the stated deadline for the FERC public comment period. The organization made it clear in their comments that the FERC needs to offer additional public hearings and a 90-day extension of the scoping comment deadline regarding the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).
BREDL Comments to FERC regarding Mountain Valley Pipeline EIS
June 16, 2015: The pipeline projects outlined in this pre-filing docket represent a massive assault on the environment and the communities along the proposed routes. Moreover, the impacts of extraction, transport and combustion of the fossil fuel which natural gas is will add to the devastating impacts of fossil fuel extraction, transportation and utilization on the entire planet.
Pipeline? No! by Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy (WACE) - This video is just one of many tools WACE has created over the past couple of months (billboard on I-75, yard signs, flyers, panel discussions, tables at events, radio shows, etc.) to help residents of Alabama, Georgia and Florida in their fight against an insane pipeline project that in the end can only benefit the very few exporting natural gas to Europe and Asia ... because we are witnessing a solar energy revolution unfold in the Southeast that will make natural gas even less attractive than it already is, and not just because of its connection to fracking. http://www.wiregrass-ace.org/
BREDL comments to FERC on Mountain Valley Pipeline
May 7, 2015: The Mountain Valley Pipeline would be a massive assault on the environment and the communities along the proposed routes. Our members live along those routes. The impacts of extraction, transport and combustion of the fossil fuel which is natural gas would have devastating impacts on local communities, on Virginia, on the nation and, indeed, on the entire planet. Therefore, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League is calling for community veto of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
No Pipeline! Press Conference in Fayetteville, NC with C3V - Cumberland County citizens take ACTION to preserve the rights of property owners and to oppose the “Fracking” Atlantic Coast Pipeline. - April 28, 2015
BREDL comments to FERC on Atlantic Coast Pipeline
April 28, 2015: Recent census data compiled by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League indicate that there would be disproportionate impacts on minority communities and families living at or below the poverty level in the areas in Virginia and North Carolina targeted for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, resulting in an environmental injustice spanning two states.
April 26, 2015: By Louis A. Zeller, executive director of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League
Local veto over natural gas pipelines? Yes!
Veto power is essential to democratic rule. Indeed, the ancient Romans conceived the veto to protect citizens of the republic from the aristocrats in the Senate. In fact, the word veto is Latin for “I forbid.” At the founding of the United States, Alexander Hamilton argued for the veto as a “check upon the legislative body” to guard against the special interests of his day.
What the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League means by “community veto” over pipelines is the lawful conduct of public bodies to safeguard the health and welfare of the inhabitants within its boundaries. All Virginia counties are so empowered.
Landowner’s Rights Violated by Mountain Valley Pipeline Survey Crews
April 9, 2015: Recently, survey crews have been seen in Franklin County on property they did not have permission to enter. Carolyn Reilly, whose land was wrongly surveyed, said, "This is a violation. We mailed a certified letter to the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project Manager denying permission to survey our family’s land." Reilly said there were strips of blue survey tape tied to trees and shrubs near Teels Creek, which runs through her property.
Mar. 9, 2015: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline represents a massive assault on the environment and the communities along the proposed routes. Moreover, the impacts of extraction, transport and combustion of the fossil fuel natural gas would have worldwide impact. Once the impacts are weighed, we believe the no action alternative—that is, the denial of the certificate of convenience and public necessity—will be the agency’s only recourse.
Southern Community Groups Call for the Right to Say No to Natural Gas Facilities
Campaign to Safeguard America’s Resources
Feb. 12, 2015: Today community groups in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia called for the establishment of local veto power over natural gas extraction, transport and use. At rallies, marches and other public events extending from Floyd, Virginia, across North Carolina to Valdosta, Georgia, people joined in a chorus of protests against pipelines, compressor stations, power plants, hydrofracking wells and waste dumps and for the restoration of property rights and local control over energy policy in the Southeast.
On February 12 Community Groups in Three Southern States to Launch Campaign to
Halt Natural Gas Contamination: Safeguard America's Resources
On Thursday, February 12, 2015, community groups in Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia will hold a day of press conferences, marches and rallies to call for a halt to natural gas facilities in all three states. This day of action will focus public pressure on local government officials. February 12 will provide a patriotic backdrop to the unified call to defend communities from pipelines, compressor stations, power plants, hydrofracking wells and waste dumps and the pollution they bring.
The League files motion to intervene in Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline
On December 24, 2014 the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League filed a motion to intervene in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s proceeding for the proposed Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline. The project would cut a 460 mile swath across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida and install five huge gas-burning, internal combustion compressor stations totaling over 200,000 horsepower. Explaining the League’s opposition to the project, Executive Director, Lou Zeller, said, “Natural gas compressors emit huge amounts of air pollution including ozone-forming nitrogen oxides, toxic formaldehyde and global warming greenhouse gas. The Sabal Trail project would not serve the residents of Alabama, Georgia and Florida nor would it benefit the economy of the Southeast.” The League has members and active chapters in Alabama and Georgia and a chapter situated right on the pipeline route through Valdosta, Georgia: Wiregrass Activists for Clean Energy.