In 2018, construction on the 303-mile fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline began in Virginia and West Virginia. Then, MVP announced plans to extend the unfinished mainline 73-miles into North Carolina via the MVP Southgate Extension, which would require a massive, polluting compressor station in a predominately Black community near Chatham, VA. Construction on Southgate will only begin if the compressor station gets approved, and NC DEQ has denied necessary permits multiple times on the grounds of the Clean Water Act.
MVP mainline construction has involved over 500 violations of permit conditions, laws, and regulations, and 75% of the route slices through 'moderate-high' or 'high' landslide risk terrain.
Disturbingly, MVP mainline was fast-tracked by Congress and the White House, a result of its corrupt inclusion in the nation’s must-pass debt ceiling legislation in June of 2023, which also codified disturbing rollbacks of critical environmental protections. The MVP provisions forced the approval of all remaining federal permits within 21 days, and forbids judicial review of any permits. These provisions did not include fast-tracking the MVP Southgate Extension.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline mainline has resumed construction, and as frontline community member and POWHR managing director, Russell Chisholm, put it: “The gas from the pipeline is unnecessary, the permanent local jobs provided are minimal, the endangerment to precious species is irreversible, water sources will be polluted, and earthquake and landslide prone areas stand in its wake. We are devastated but we will never give up on protecting our home.”
The MVP Southgate Extension is a proposed 73-mile extension of the main pipeline, from Pittsylvania County, Virginia into North Carolina’s Rockingham and Alamance counties. The MVP Southgate Extension would require a massive, polluting compressor station in a predominately Black community near Chatham, VA.
MVP Southgate developers have filed for an extension of their original certificate from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), despite missing necessary authorizations and recently abandoning eminent domain proceedings for the project’s route through NC. The window for public comment ended on July 24, 2023, and hundreds of community members, alongside Congresswomen Foushee and Manning, and over 50 NC General Assembly members participated, urging FERC to deny the certificate. Please stay tuned for updates.
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We are leading a long-haul effort to bring the Indigenous-led Rights of Nature Movement to NC.. We will start by advancing Rights of Nature legislation for the Haw River in the NC General Assembly, as well as at the municipal level. By fostering cultural shift towards the Indigenous and Earth-honoring values at the heart of the movement through advocacy, outreach, media campaigns and education, we know we will build the base necessary to achieve our goals.
Visit our Rights of Nature page to learn more and get involved.
The Yésa Gardens serves as a space for re-establishing Indigenous agricultural and cultural practices and teachings, and hosting opportunities for youth and leadership development. Working towards expanding the Gardens and community spaces on our newly acquired land is intwined with environmental justice and slowing the climate crisis, as it's well understood that the solutions we seek already exist within the foundation of Indigenous cultures. For these practices to take root again, we need to put LandBack into Indigenous hands.