The Virginia State Water Control Board voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve an application for Mountain Valley Pipeline to proceed with construction across water bodies in Southwest Virginia.
A study of state inspection reports conducted by Wild Virginia, Documenting the Damage, using the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s own records, shows that MVP has violated the rules more than 1,500 times throughout the life of this project.
And yet …
“This is a heartbreaking decision,” said David Sligh, the conservation director at Wild Virginia. “Yet another public agency that’s supposed to protect us and our natural treasures has failed to live up to the standards we have a right to expect. No single project in Virginia in decades has presented a threat to our precious resources even close to the scope and scale of those MVP poses. The pipeline builders have already harmed hundreds of waterbodies and residents along its destructive path. The Board could have, and should have, acted to prevent further destruction.”
Lee Francis, deputy director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, issued the following statement on the approval for the project:
“Throughout this project, MVP has shown no respect to Virginia’s water quality or the Virginians that live in the path of this project. Today’s vote ignores science, overlooks one of the poorest environmental track records in state history, puts an out-of-state corporation’s interests ahead of what’s right for clean water and our environment, and comes even as another state citizen board acted to do the right thing for Virginians by rejecting MVP’s license to pollute earlier this month. While this outcome is disappointing, our work fighting this project isn’t done, and there remain multiple pathways to protecting clean water even if state regulators refuse to.”