ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. – The Alamance County Board of Commissioners held a meeting Tuesday morning at the County Office Building in Graham.
Commissioners faced a lengthy agenda filled with presentations, budget amendments, county reports, and much more.
The proposed extension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate (MVP), however, was the most pressing topic.
The MVP project is a natural gas pipeline system that spans about 300 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.
The company, Mountain Valley Pipeline, wants to extend the project another 70 miles into Rockingham and Alamance counties in North Carolina.
It would run east of Eden, north of Reidsville, and end near Graham.
"The MVP Southgate project underscores the need for improved access to a low-cost, reliable supply of natural gas from the Appalachian Basin that will support the increasing demand for energy by consumers and industrial markets in the southeast United States," said Jerry Ashcroft, president and chief executive officer, EQT Midstream Partners. "Our focus on the safe and responsible construction and operation of Mountain Valley Pipeline will continue into the planning and development of MVP Southgate."
Supporters say the MVP Southgate project would present an economic benefit.
Dozens of concerned residents, however, showed up to the Commissioners meeting to voice their opposition.
Some public concerns include the possibility of water-quality disruption, loss of building sites, and lack of property development.
After hearing from the public, the Board of Commissioners voted 5-0 to adopt a resolution opposing the MVP Southgate project.
"One of the key points is protection of water-quality," said Amy Scott Galey, Chair of Alamance County Board of Commissioners. "We are the Basin for the Jordan Lake and the upper Cape Fear River Basin. We also have water reservoirs for the City of Burlington. Water-quality is really important in Alamance County. The pipeline cuts through the heart of Alamance County, where there's a lot of heavy soils and granite underneath."
Even though Commissioners voted unanimously against the expansion of the project, Alamance County does not have the authority to stop the pipeline.
The State has authority over permitting the pipeline, while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the pipeline.
The next step for Alamance County is for County Attorney Clyde Albright to submit the resolution to the FERC to be considered in a comment period.
County leaders are now urging members of the public who support or oppose the pipeline to take the initiative and submit comments to the federal government.
For more information about the MVP Southgate project, click here.