ACP hearing continued until Tuesday

By: Staff report

LUMBERTON — The hearing involving the legal challenge of a conditional-use permit issued one year ago to the builders of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by the Robeson County Board of Commissioners was continued until Tuesday.

The hearing in Courtroom 2C at the Robeson County Courthouse was stopped Monday at 4 p.m., said Gary Locklear, interim county attorney. The hearing is to resume at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The primary action Monday was the filing of motions seeking more information.

“These are all motions, primarily by the plaintiffs,” Locklear said.

The plaintiffs are suggesting the commissioners were biased in favor of the pipeline when they approved the permit, Locklear said. The county is arguing the commissioners were not biased.

“This is not about the pipeline,” Locklear said.

It is about the metering station and the tower, and the 4 acres of land on which they are to be built, he said.

At issue is a permit approved by the commissioners on Aug. 7, 2017, that cleared the way for the construction of a metering station and a 350-foot-tall microwave cell tower on land the pipeline’s builders own near Prospect. The approval was challenged in court in early October 2017. As a result, the ACP’s builders, subsidiaries of Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and Southern Company, have not been able to build the monitoring station and tower.

The plaintiffs in the initial lawsuit were Dwayne Goins and Robie Joe Goins, owners of property where the proposed 600-mile natural gas pipeline is to end near Pembroke.

They claim findings of fact and conclusions from a review of the proposed construction project were not contained in the approved permit, Locklear said. Other property owners and concerned residents have since joined the lawsuit.


Staff report