Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, December 11, 2018

Contact: Perrin de Jong, (828) 252-4646, perrin@biologicaldiversity.org

Legal Action Challenges Virginia, North Carolina Fracked Gas Pipeline

MVP Southgate Would Harm Climate, Public Health, Endangered Species

WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and allies took legal action this week to prevent construction of a newly proposed fracked gas pipeline in Virginia and North Carolina.

On Monday the Center and allies Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Appalachian Voices, Sierra Club, Haw River Assembly, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network filed a motion to intervene in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s proceedings on whether to green-light the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate Project, known as MVP Southgate.

MVP Southgate would carry fracked gas 72 miles from the southern terminus of the famous Mountain Valley Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, Va. through Rockingham County and on to Alamance County, N.C. Along the way the project would threaten the climate, imperiled species and public health.  

“This destructive pipeline would do immense harm to endangered species in North Carolina and Virginia as bulldozers clear a path through their habitat,” said Perrin de Jong, North Carolina staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “MVP Southgate would also degrade air and water quality by accelerating fracking throughout West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

MVP Southgate threatens dramatic impacts to species along the Virginia-North Carolina border. Pipeline construction could harm numerous populations of imperiled fish, mussels and plants, including the Roanoke logperch, James spineymussel, Atlantic pigtoe and smooth coneflower. All are currently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act with the exception of the Atlantic pigtoe, a freshwater mussel currently under consideration for protection.

Habitat for these aquatic species would be fouled by sedimentation that would be unavoidable with pipeline construction. The imperiled plant species could have their habitat entirely removed by land clearing for the pipeline’s right-of-way.

MVP Southgate would also threaten the water supplies and air of communities along the route with hazardous chemical spills and chronic air pollution.

“As the climate change threat builds, this dirty project would only worsen our addiction to fossil fuels,” de Jong said. “This pipeline has to be stopped.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

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