Statement from Sen. Berger on MVP Southgate Pipeline Permit Denial

Raleigh, N.C. — Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) released the following statement on the Department of Environmental Quality denying the 401 water quality certification for the MVP Southgate Pipeline project in Alamance, Caswell, and Rockingham counties:

“It is unfortunate that the Department of Environmental Quality decided to deny the water quality permit for the MVP Southgate Pipeline. In denying the permit, DEQ wrote that MVP Southgate is ‘inextricably linked to, and dependent upon’ the Mountain Valley Pipeline project being completed. That project is nearly complete, and any North Carolina permit approvals could have been made conditional on the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

“The Final Environmental Impact Statement from FERC determined the project could be built safely with limited negative impacts to the environment. The decision seems premature, at its best. At its worst, it seems arbitrary and punitive.

“This would have been a transformational project for Alamance, Caswell, and Rockingham counties. It was set to create 1,100 jobs in the state during construction and was estimated to generate about $6.3 million in tax revenues. The MVP Southgate project worked tirelessly to meet the demands of DEQ. It’s a shame that instead of continuing to work with MVP Southgate the Department just shut it down.

“The Cooper administration is waging an undeclared war on the economic vitality of rural North Carolina. Decisions like this one signal to industries that our state is not open for business and actively harms our ability to recruit businesses to relocate or expand in our rural counties. This project would have produced real jobs, with real benefits in the towns and counties that need them the most. There is more to North Carolina than just Charlotte and the Research Triangle, but you wouldn’t know that based on the actions of Gov. Cooper and DEQ.

“Gov. Cooper continues to recklessly jeopardize the economic future of North Carolina by tying the hands of job creators in favor of trying to create his own ‘Green New Deal’ through executive order. This is yet another example of the Cooper administration’s job-killing, regulatory overreach.”

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