Clayton, et. al. v. Person County

Environmental Justice
Aerial View of Rural North Carolina showing farmland on a cloudy day

Case Summary

Filed 02/02/2024
Updated 06/03/2024

SCSJ is challenging Person County's rezoning of parcels from rural residential and conservation designations to industrial zoning. Dominion Energy’s plans to construct and operate the proposed Moriah Energy Center (MEC) liquified methane storage facility on the rezoned parcels. The liquified natural gas storage and distribution facility will create numerous harmful health and environmental impacts for the nearby community.

The complaint, filed in partnership with co-counsel from the Law Offices of F. Bryan Brice, Jr., alleges that Person County and its Board of County Commissioners ignored the sincere concerns and compelling public testimony from residents when approving MEC’s rezoning. SCSJ filed the complaint on Feb. 2, 2024, on behalf of Person County Community Action Network and 8 plaintiffs (Kristopher Clayton, James Dykes, Berhard Lampert, Mary Amanda Hamill, John Hoffman, Shari Jill Stowers-Hoffman, David Thompson, and Doris Ann Thompson). The Public Service Company of North Carolina, Inc. (PSCNC) doing business as Dominion Energy, intervened in the case. The county and PSCNC have filed motions to dismiss the case. A case status conference and potential motions hearings will take place in July, 2024, in Person County Superior Court.

Why it's Important

The Moriah Energy Center would emit more than 65,000 tons of greenhouse gases each year, in addition to dangerous air pollutants, potential gas leaks and safety concerns, and deforestation. The facility would also create numerous health and environmental impacts for nearby residents including increased noise and traffic, less safe traffic conditions; odor and light pollution; toxic and hazardous air emissions and related environmental and health effects; construction traffic, noise, and debris; risks to surface and groundwater drinking sources; and increased use and overburdening of public infrastructure.

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