Category Archives: Virginia government

Pipeline Battle

An extensive article in Virginia Business reviews the three year battle over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It covers discussion over environmental impact, questions of pubic need, Dominion donations, water quality, Governor McAuliffe’s support of the ACP, and a variety of aspects of the casefor and against the ACP.

Read the full article here.

Will McAuliffe’s Administration Protect Virginia Waters Only “In Theory”?

The latest from Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC):

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has indicated that applications for water quality certification of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) could be denied “in theory.” We are calling on Governor Terry McAuliffe to take action now to ensure that DEQ’s enforcement of the law is more than theoretical; that the certain damages these proposals would cause to hundreds of our streams and wetlands be honestly acknowledged by DEQ and prevented.

In a letter to the Governor dated July 25, 2017, the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC) described how the Governor’s top environmental officials have skewed the regulatory reviews of these major pipeline proposals. State records and public statements clearly show that DEQ has failed even to acknowledge its duty to deny water quality certifications for the ACP and MVP, despite the Clean Water Act’s mandate that DEQ do so.

Other states have faithfully fulfilled their Clean Water Act duties to reject proposals when pipeline builders failed to meet their burdens of proof and show that their projects could meet all water quality requirements. As DPMC’s letter asked the Governor: “Do Virginian’s deserve less protection than our fellow citizens? Will you accept DEQ’s proposals to forego its responsibilities where others have fully exercised their authorities to protect their citizens and environments?”

DEQ’s resistance to considering rejection of threats to water quality is not in line with actions it has taken on proposals by other parties. The Department has rejected permit applications for facilities such as wastewater discharges and held other construction projects to stringent stormwater control requirements. In stark contrast, the pipeline companies have gotten special deals. Certainly, other applicants for State approvals will be dismayed to know they’ve been treated differently than the politically-powerful sponsors of ACP and MVP.

For more information, see:

Three Summer Actions to Stop the ACP and MVP

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) has outlined three summer actions you can take to help stop the ACP and the MVP:

  1. Submit a public comment to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). By submitting a public comment to the DEQ (and encouraging all of your social networks to do the same), you are adding to the resounding chorus of Virginians who emphatically demand that Governor McAuliffe and his DEQ do everything in their authority to protect Virginians from the environmental destruction that these pipelines would trigger.
  2. Pack the DEQ Public Hearings. The DEQ has announced five separate public hearings for these pipelines (two for the MVP and three for the ACP), spanning from August 7th to the 14th. Spread the word about these meetings and organize carpools in your community to show the DEQ and Virginians are united on this issue. Be sure to wear a blue shirt and bring a bottle of water collected from your property to participate in water ceremonies at each one of the hearings. If you need help organizing a ride for these hearings, please email Jamshid Bakhtiari ( for assistance ASAP.
  3. Call your State Representative. We need our legislators to stand up for Virginia waterways and communities and tell the DEQ to do the same! We have teamed up with our partners, Appalachian Voices, Bold Alliance and Oil Change International to flood Virginia’s legislators with a series of call-in days. We need you to call your legislator and encourage them to push the DEQ to protect Virginia’s water today!

Further information and background may be found on CCAN’s “Three Summer Actions” page.

Tell McAuliffe Administration: Protect Our Waterways

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network has set up a Web page allowing you to quickly and easily submit your letter telling Governor Terry McAuliffe and DEQ Director David Paylor they must do a full, comprehensive review of the ACP and MVP impacts to water quality and to allow the public enough time to weigh in.  It’s quick, it’s easy – make your voice heard!

Thank You, Senator Deeds

State Senator Creigh Deeds has written to Molly Ward, Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources, David Paylor, Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Robert Dunn, Chair of the State Water Control Board, urging the Commonwealth of Virginia to “use the full scope of its authority to assess the impacts of the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines” and asking them “to conduct a thorough and transparent review of stream and wetland crossings, as well as all upland activities, and ensure that Virginia water quality standards are met.”

Deeds specifically asked that:

  • DEQ to perform individual 401 certifications for wetland and stream crossings, rather than relying on the Army Corps of Engineers’ (the Corps) Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12).
  • DEQ to postpone any public hearings or other activities that move forward with Section 401 certification until the pipeline developers have provided all information necessary for thorough DEQ and public review.   At the very least DEQ should extend any public comment periods on this issue to ninety days or more.
  • DEQ to expand the number and locations within impacted Counties for the Section 401 Certification public hearings to maximize opportunities for public input and participation.

Thank you, Senator Deeds!

Read the full letter here.

Keep Up with the News

Having a hard time keeping up with all the news related to the pipeline? Remember to check out our In the News page for stories not featured in our main page posts. Click on the In the News tab for the current two months, or use the dropdown menu under In the News to look at back stories. A few good stories from the last week or two: