Groups call on Virginia DEQ to deny water certification for pipeline

The Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of more than a dozen conservation groups, is calling on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to protect the water quality of communities across the state.

pipelineIn comments submitted Tuesday, SELC outlined the potential dangers the Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction and operation would cause to sensitive waterways in Virginia, and made the case that DEQ has failed to fully exercise its authority to protect water quality.

“DEQ does not have reasonable assurance from pipeline developers that our waters will be protected as required by the Clean Water Act,” said Senior Attorney Greg Buppert. “The state owes it to Virginians to take its authority seriously rather than cutting corners to approve this project on the pipeline developer’s schedule.”

In letters addressed to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and DEQ Director David Paylor, several state lawmakers, including Senators Creigh Deeds and Emmett Hanger Jr., urged DEQ to do its own analysis of the pipeline’s stream, river, and wetland crossings, rather than the agency’s proposed plan to rely on a review and blanket permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. DEQ has the authority to conduct a thorough review that would reveal the risks of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s construction to every water crossing in Virginia. If built, this pipeline will cross some of Virginia’s steepest mountain slopes, where erosion controls are likely to be ineffective to prevent harm to trout streams and drinking water sources. The Clean Water Act gives DEQ the authority to stop the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and it should take that responsibility to all Virginians seriously.

DEQ is also pushing off critical decisions until after the state water permitting process, including consideration of erosion and sediment control, and stormwater management plans. This approach will be too little too late. Postponing consideration of these plans undermines the entire process meant to ensure that dangerous projects with the potential to degrade water quality in Virginia are properly vetted.

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is now available at a special pre-sale discounted price of $20. The book is expected to ship by June 10, 2019, and will retail for $25.
Pre-order for $20: click here.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
augusta free press

Related Content

Shop Google


Comments

%d bloggers like this: