Category Archives: Take Action

Send Your Comments to DEQ


Start sending your comments! They must be received by DEQ by 11:59 pm on May 30, 2018.

The purpose of the comment period is for interested persons to submit technical comments and/or information for the MVP and ACP projects relevant to:

  1. the sufficiency of the Corps NWP 12 permit’s general and regional conditions, as they relate to specific, wetland or stream crossing(s);
  2. the sufficiency of the Corps NWP 12 permit authorization for each project, as related to specific, wetland or stream crossing(s); and/or
  3. the sufficiency of the Commonwealth’s § 401 water quality certification of NWP 12, as related to specific, wetland or stream crossing(s).

 

INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS:

1. All written comments submitted must include the name(s), mailing address(es) and telephone number(s) of the person(s) commenting.

2. All written comments submitted must be to a specific wetland or stream crossing. Comments should reference exact wetlands and streams crossings by the identifiers found at the following address:

3. Written comments may be submitted via hand-delivery to DEQ, 1111 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219; via postal mail to DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218; or via e-mail at the following email address(es) ONLY – emails and attachments sent to other email addresses or internet sites will not be considered:

NWP12InforOnACP@deq.virginia.gov
NWP12InfoOnMVP@deq.virginia.gov

WHAT TO SAY

If you are looking for ideas on what to say in your comments, Wild Virginia has prepared an excellent set of Suggestions for Comments in Response to DEQ Public Notice Impacts from Waterbody Crossings and Water Quality Standards.  Use their suggestions and personalize them.

 

New Virginia Way Raising Funds for Protestors’ Legal Fees

On May 1, 2018, New Virginia Way announced a new fund to support the legal fees of protestors and those standing with them. Their announcement states:

A movement is growing that defies party, region and ideology. Powered by a common belief that parents have a right to protect their children’s drinking water and that communities should determine their own future instead of having it imposed by energy monopolies, citizens are coming together to oppose the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.

The face of this movement is Red Terry, a 61 year-old Appalachian woman who has spent the past four weeks in a tree on her family’s land to block a corporate chainsaw crew from clear-cutting. Police are waiting at the base of the tree to arrest her for criminal trespass — on her own property! Just this weekend, authorities blocked her from receiving medical treatment or supplies.

Red is one of a growing number of community advocates — mostly women — who have literally taken to the trees at great personal risk to stop this pipeline. Almost all of them are now facing mounting legal fees, as the corporate monopolies exploit every available avenue to threaten them and their families.

With a host of pending legal challenges and bipartisan coalition of elected officials against these pipelines, the tides are turning. However, it was announced last week that the Federal District Court issued contempt charges against the Terry family. This is the first in what will likely be lots of legal battles against individuals protesting the pipelines….

Click here for information on their fundraising effort.

New Virginia Way also strongly encourages all of us to ensure everyone from local officials up to the Governor hears your voice.

MVP Runs ATVs on the AT

Appalachians Against Pipelines reports that for well over a week, Mountain Valley Pipeline and the US Forest Service have been driving ATVs up and down the Appalachian National Scenic Trail on Peters Mountain.

On April 30, 2018, the Roanoke Times story, ATV traffic on the Appalachian Trail is the latest Mountain Valley Pipeline controversy, reported that “After receiving a complaint Sunday about ATV traffic on an approximately quarter-mile section of the trail that runs along the edge of Giles County, Downs contacted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is overseeing construction of the natural gas pipeline. A FERC official looked into the matter and was told that the Forest Service authorized the use of ATVs, according to FERC spokeswoman Tamara Young-Allen. Forest Service officials have also been four-wheeling on the trail, she said. Joby Timm, the Roanoke-based supervisor of the Jefferson National Forest, said through a spokeswoman only that his agency was looking into the matter.”

This video — which shows the view from Symm’s Gap meadow, a famous and popular viewpoint along the AT — is just one example of many documented instances of motorized vehicle use on the AT & the accompanying trail damage.

According to the Forest Service’s website, ATV use is strictly prohibited on all National Forest land in West Virginia. Even the project plan for MVP’s boring under the AT specifically states, “No motorized vehicle traffic is permitted between the Appalachian National Scenic Trail bore pits.” On top of that, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy says, “To protect the Appalachian Trail and the A.T. experience, certain incompatible activities, such as … use of motorized vehicles, are prohibited.”

What can you do?

Call the Forest Service! Report this abuse of the trail, and DEMAND that they stop destroying public lands on behalf of MVP, and that they stop protecting MVP over land and communities!
• USFS Office in Atlanta – 888-603-6430
• Joby Timm, Forest Supervisor – 540-265-5118 – email jtimm@fs.fed.us
• Forest Supervisor’s Office (use employee directory to reach Timm) – 540-265-5100
• Jessica Rubado, Contact for Closure Orders – 503-314-0767 – jrubado@fs.fed.us
• Rebecca Robbins, Public Affairs Specialist – 540- 265-5173 – email rebeccarobbins@fs.fed.us

Note added on May 2:  On May 1, the day after their headline story about Trail damage, the Roanoke Times reported that Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests. “The U.S. Forest Service apologized Tuesday for damaging the Appalachian Trail with all-terrain vehicles driven during patrols of a pipeline protest. In a news release, the agency admitted that its law enforcement officers used the ATVs from April 11 to April 30 on a short stretch of the scenic footpath that follows the ridge of Peters Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest.”

Call Northam: Leadership Needed

In the April 30, 2018, Washington Post, Appalachian Voices Executive Director Tom Cormons co-authored an op-ed with former Congressman Tom Perriello calling for moral leadership on the pipelines from Governor Northam. In the piece, they lay out many of the injustices people in rural communities across Virginia have experienced at the hands of pipeline developers and the government agencies that have enabled them.

Similar sentiments have been expressed by Virginia’s elected leaders the past several months. They have called for a stream-by-stream analysis of all waters crossed by the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines, the humane treatment of peaceful protesters in the path of construction, and better processes that protect property rights, water and our children’s future.

It’s time for the Governor to lead.  Call Governor Northam at (804) 786-2211. Remind him that during his campaign he called for a stream-by-stream analysis of the impacts these two pipelines would have on our streams and wetlands, but neither the federal agencies nor DEQ have completed that analysis. Last February, he wrote a letter to DEQ, requesting that the agency complete its own analysis of impacts to water, independent of the Trump administration’s blanket permit. Ask him to direct DEQ to do a stream-by-stream analysis of impacts and provide that information to the public.  Ask that he stop pipeline construction and tree cutting until officials have evidence that construction will not violate state water quality standards.

Northam has spoken out against offshore drilling, citing threats to Virginia’s coastal communities, economy and natural resources. Now it’s time for him to stand up for the rest of the commonwealth and protect our property rights, our water quality, and our children’s future.

Call Governor Northam today at (804) 786-2211.

Dominion Shareholders Meeting, May 9, 2018


Dominion’s annual shareholders meeting will take place in Richmond on Wednesday May 9, 2018.  Dust off your protestin’ props and join Virginia Pipeline Resisters, your friends, and your neighbors the morning of Wednesday May 9th in Richmond! We’ll send a message to Dominion’s shareholders and executives like CEO Thomas Farrell, it’s time to drop the act and invest in clean energy now!

On May 9, 2018, gather at 9am at the corner of 3rd and Marshall street. At 10:30 am everyone will march to Festival Park and assemble for a press conference and rally with some amazing speakers!

Gather in groups on the sidewalk to arrange ourselves into 4 sections:

  1. Political Corruption–From the General Assembly to the Department of Environmental Quality Dominion’s dirty politics threaten our democracy. Bring your best props to highlight political corruption! Dress like your favorite Dominion owned politician or bring a sign showing how much Dominion money your legislator has taken.
  2. Environmental Destruction–From coal ash to pipelines to fracked gas Dominion’s dirty power threatens our climate, air, land, and water. Bring your best props to highlight Dominion’s dirty environmental impacts–Bring a giant pipeline, a jar of water you want to protect, wear rubber boots to symbolize sea level rise, or put it all on a sign!
  3. Moral Obligation–Time after time, issue after issue, Dominion’s words and deeds show that company leadership is morally bankrupt. Are you a person of faith or just someone who thinks companies who receive public benefit should act in the public good? Then this is the spot for you! Bring your signs, banners, and props that call on Dominion to do what’s right.
  4. Economic Exploitation–Dominion’s greed costs consumers millions of dollars and stifles the clean energy economy. Join this section to help show that it’s not all about trees and critters, it’s about pocketbook issues too! From Dominion overcharging customers to suppressing clean energy there are real economic costs to the company’s actions.

Tree-Sit Pipeline Protests, MVP, and ACP

The Loudoun County Democratic Committee issued an April 27, 2018, press release on Tree-Sit Pipeline Protests, MVP, and ACP:

Natural gas is neither safe nor clean. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) present unacceptable risks to water quality, unacceptable contribution to climate change in the form of greenhouse gas emissions, unacceptable threats to social justice in communities affected, unacceptable impact to the forests and wildlife in the Commonwealth, unacceptable risks to human health, and unacceptable use of eminent domain.

To quote Delegate Danica Roem, one of fourteen Virginia legislators who recently held a press conference to condemn construction of the pipelines, “I’m a property rights Democrat and an environmental Democrat, and this is bad for both; We are one Commonwealth…it is our obligation to stand with people in Southwest Virginia. We all represent the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have to be united.”

Democrats in Loudoun are conscientious stewards of the environment, advocates of rural conservation and defenders of social justice. Many in our membership and leadership are alarmed at the treatment of Theresa “Red” Terry, her daughter Minor and others, who are actively engaged in tree-sit protests on their own property to obstruct tree clearing progress on the MVP and ultimately construction of the pipeline itself. Even more disconcerting, one of the enormous compressor stations on the ACP route is planned for Union Hill, a historic, predominantly African American community that was founded by freed slaves in Buckingham County.

“Water is life. The construction of these pipelines poses a threat to hundreds of thousands of Virginians who live near proposed constructions sites,” said LCDC Chair Alfonso Nevarez, “The Department of Environmental Quality needs to do a stream-by-stream analysis of all water crossing that would be impacted by these proposed pipelines before further work is authorized. I am confident that Virginia’s Democratic elected officials will make prudent decisions that will protect human and property rights for our brothers and sisters across the Commonwealth.”

LCDC accompanied their press release with excellent supplemental information covering:

  • Denial of Access to Water and Food for the tree sitters
  • Social Justice in Union Hill, Buckingham County
  • Inappropriate use of Eminent Domain
  • Widespread opposition from environmental organizations
  • Unacceptable level of environmental damage
  • Fracking is harmful to human health
  • Unacceptable response to climate change, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Additional natural gas infrastructure not needed
  • Erosion of public trust in regulatory institutions
  • These pipelines could very well kill someone
  • A listing of Material / References

On April 29, 2018, the Arlington County Democratic Committee issued a statement saying in part:

While Arlington might not suffer direct impacts, we all will be required to pay a large portion of the estimated $10 billion in pipeline costs which the builders will pass on to consumers in the form of increased utility rates. In addition, this massive new investment in decades-long infrastructure will retard the needed growth of truly clean sources of energy from which everyone in Arlington would benefit.

We join our elected officials in urging Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam and the Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a full, on the ground stream-by-stream analysis of the water impacts of the two pipelines and to complete this review before any construction proceeds. And we insist that peaceful protesters be treated humanely and provided with nutritious food and water. ….

You can help deliver this message in two ways.

  • Call Governor Northam at (804) 786-2211. Tell him you #StandWithRed and ask him to order law enforcement to give food and necessities to the tree sitters. Urge him to order the Department of Environmental Quality to use its full authority under the Clean Water Act to conduct a detailed, stream-by-stream analysis of each water crossing.
  • Call the Department of Environmental Quality at (804) 698-4000. Tell them to halt pipeline construction and conduct a thorough stream-by-stream review to ensure our lands and waters are protected.