ACP sparks lawsuit

By: Staff Report

LUMBERTON — The Atlantic Coast Pipeline debate in Robeson County has made its way to court.

A petition was filed Friday in Superior Court in Robeson County asking the court to review the county Board of Comissioners’ decision in August to approve a conditional use permit for the builders of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The petitioners are Dwayne Goins and Robie Joe Goins, owners of property where the proposed 600-mile natural gas pipeline is to end in Pembroke. Listed on the petition as respondents are Robeson County and Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC.

The legal action seeks to have the conditional use permit application remanded and the permit revoked.

“In the alternative, Petitioner requests that the Court order the permit application remanded to the County for full and proper proceedings, and consideration of the material evidence during a full evidentiary hearing as required by law,” the petition reads in part.

The commissioners approved on Aug. 7 a conditional use permit that cleared the way for the construction of a metering and regulating station, and a tower on N.C. 710 near Pembroke.

“Petitioner alleges that the CUP was issued without an adequate factual basis in that the applicants did not fulfill their burden to establish that the M&R Station and Tower meet the statutory criteria for issuance,” the petition reads in part. “Petitioner further alleges that Respondent County did not follow required procedure for a quasi-judicial decision to grant the CUP.”

The board’s decision also is described in the petition as “arbitrary and capricious.” The station and tower are described as possible threats to public health and safety and will “cause injury to the value of adjoining property.”

“In short, the process used regarding the ACP application fell short in many ways in relation to the state’s standards, processes, and principles,” said Mac Legerton, executive director of the Center for Community Action in Lumberton and pipeline opponent.

Staff Report