Friends of the Earth and Winyah Rivers Alliance Notify U.S. Army Corps of Lawsuit over Robeson LNG PipelineCorporation risks dumping hazardous air and water pollutants into vulnerable communities' backyards and waterways
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Friends of the Earth and Winyah Rivers Alliance notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of forthcoming litigation over unlawful Clean Water Act permitting for the construction of the Robeson LNG (RLNG) Pipeline Project.
The RLNG pipeline, which is already being constructed, will be a one billion cubic foot peaking and storage facility located in Robeson County, North Carolina, a geographic area that is 87.9% Indigenous (predominantly Lumbee) as well as African American.
“While they promote themselves as a leader in addressing the climate crisis, Duke Energy continues to push high-risk schemes such as the RLNG in vulnerable communities,” said Donna Chavis, senior climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth and an elder of the Lumbee Nation. “Investments in fossil fuel infrastructure make no sense financially or ecologically. We intend to hold Duke Energy accountable for its actions that damage the environment and impacted peoples.”
The formal notice of intent to sue identifies Clean Water Act violations associated with the pipeline permit, including relying on the legally deficient Nationwide Permit 12. This is the second time that the Corps has been notified of violations.
“The project is near multiple existing utilities crossings of swamps and the Lumber River, and these new impacts further degrade water quality and increase local flooding,” said Jefferson Currie II, Lumber Riverkeeper with Winyah Rivers Alliance and a member of the Lumbee Tribe of NC. “In addition, this unneeded Duke Energy project is along what local Lumbee and Tuscarora people call ‘Long Swamp,’ where significant archaeological and historical sites attest to the sustained cultural presence of our Indigenous communities in this place for thousands of years.”
Unless the U.S. Army Corps rescinds the permit and issues a stop work order for the pipeline’s construction, Friends of the Earth and Winyah Rivers Alliance plan to file their lawsuit in federal court once the 60-day notice period has ended. The parties are represented by attorneys at Calhoun, Bhella & Sechrest, LLP.
Communications contact: Brittany Miller, (202) 222-0746, [email protected]