Dominion is proposing to impact 27 wetland areas and two tributaries, and is using eminent domain to take land—including heirs property and lands held by families for generations—from residents to build the pipeline.
Residents of the town of Pamplico are also concerned about the possible environmental impacts of the project due to Dominion’s history of damaging South Carolina’s water supply. For example, in 2018, Dominion was cited for failing to control sediment on a construction site near a 55-mile pipeline it had built in the Upstate.
Nevertheless, the Corps of Engineers recently indicated its intention to review Dominion’s permit application under a laxer Nationwide Permit (NWP). The NWP is allowed only if construction will have minimal adverse environmental impacts. On April 15, 2020, the U.S. District Court in Montana vacated the NWP based on the Corps’ failure to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service as required by Endangered Species Act. After heated debate, on July 6, 2020 the United States Supreme Court partially reversed the district court’s decision, temporarily reinstating the permit.
Dominion’s history indicates its proposed construction would have more than minimal environmental impacts. The Corps should require an individual Clean Water Act permit, instead of the lax NWP. We will continue to advocate against use of the NWP to condemn these rural and historic family properties.