Writing in the Virginia Mercury on February 13, 2019, members of the POWHR Coalition ask, “Where’s the pipeline hearing you promised?”
The State Water Control Board passed a motion on December 13, 2018, requiring a hearing on whether the water quality certificate for the Mountain Valley Pipeline should be revoked. But eight weeks later, no hearing date has been announced and the MVP continues to inflict damage.
“MVP’s ongoing pattern of violations disproves the assertion that formed the basis for certification, that compliance with water quality standards was reasonably assured. Every day that passes without a stop work order from the commonwealth undermines the board’s intention to reconsider the question of reasonable assurance. The Department of Environmental Quality’s refusal to issue stop-work orders where harm continues and imminent threats to water quality now exist betrays the state’s duty to use its full authority to protect our resources.”
The authors call on the Board to:
- meet as soon as possible
- vote that DEQ and the attorney general act immediately to stop work and prevent even further damage
- provide an opportunity for meaningful citizen input. “In this case, participation by citizens is especially necessary to ensure that the interests of the public and the environment are represented. Recent disclosures by a former board member show that DEQ Director David Paylor is hostile to citizens.”
“It is important to stress that the authority for the notice and hearing process lies with the board; DEQ is merely tasked with carrying out the board’s order.”
On February 14, 2019, a meeting was announced for March 1, 2019, to discuss details on when the actual hearing will take place, and the format it will take. The Water Board meeting to discuss a time and process for the actual hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 1021 Koger Center Blvd., Richmond.