Concerned residents and potentially impacted landowners have come together in opposition to the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The group is calling themselves No Pipeline Johnston County or NPJC. They have organized under the umbrella of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, a regional grassroots organization formed in 1984.
NPJC has joined other BREDL chapters in North Carolina and Virginia resisting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
In addition to local activities, members will be attending upcoming Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hearings on the project. The No Pipeline Johnston County group will hold a public meeting on Thursday, March 2nd at the Public Library of Smithfield and Johnston County, located at 305 East Market Street in Smithfield.
The $5 billion APC project will be dissecting across land from the shale basins in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia 550-miles south before ending in Robeson County, NC.
In North Carolina, the pipeline will cross 8 North Carolina counties, including Johnston County, as it runs just east of the I-95 corridor. Land owners will be given one-time financial compensation for the loss of the property but the utility easement would be off limits for any future development.
Upset property owners filled the November 2015 Johnston County Commissioners meeting expressing frustration, concern and raising questions about safety and property values. Several were concerned about a decrease in property values and erosion issues.
Opponents contend once the pipeline is buried underneath farm land, the land is not as productive. Even though the pipeline is buried 48 inches deep, opponents contend that farmers will not be able to drive their tractors and other heavy equipment across.
One resident said during the 2015 meeting the potential blast radius from a natural gas line of this size is up to 1,000 feet in each direction, leaving many homes and businesses, even the Meadow School within the zone.
Some claim corporate profits are being put before the safety and health of landowners in Johnston and other counties.