Although all construction on the MVP has halted after FERC issued a “stop work” order on Friday August 3, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported on August 5, 2018, that during Governor Ralph Northam’s Saturday August 4 tour of Bluefield College, he said he wants the Mountain Valley Pipeline to move forward.
“‘I am supportive of moving forward (with the MVP),’ Northam said. ‘We need energy, but we need energy responsibly.’ Northam said he understands the problems associated with the pipeline, including landowner rights and the recent rain and flooding that have dumped ‘too much sediment into waterways. All along the pipeline they need to be conscious of the land and take people’s property rights into account,’ he said. ‘Any compliance issue … we are looking and watching the streams and the rivers closely.’ Northam said any problems with permits to cross federal land should be resolved and the state is cognizant of the work and its impact. ‘We have agencies in Virginia, like the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ),’ he said. ‘I have confidence they are monitoring what is going on. If there is an issue or problem they will (with intervention) be in compliance.'”
The Governor did not acknowledge that DEQ has not been doing its job, has issued violation notices only after repeated submissions by private citizens of documentation of violations, took weeks and gave many excuses before it finally made public the 13,000 comments on waterbody crossings from the comment period ending June 15 (even though the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition and Wild Virginia have worked together and posted on June 20 what DEQ said it couldn’t do yet). And as of this writing, DEQ has still not posted the promised summary of comments.
Listen to the audio and read the transcript of the Governor in an August 8, 2018, radio interview as he continues to dodge questions and dodge responsibility while speaking in generalizations about his confidence in state agencies.
In his August 5, 2018, blog post, Deny 401 Certification for the ACP, Robert Whitescarver says, “The Virginia State Water Control Board must deny 401 certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). It should have denied 401 certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Building these fracked gas pipelines through steep, rough terrain and karst geology is fraught with danger. Construction is already causing massive soil erosion that pollutes our streams, rivers, wetlands, and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.”
Whitescarver cites Northam’s campaign promise, “If we are going do to this, we are going to do it right,” and adds, “Governor Northam, it’s not being done right, and without the right steps forward from your administration, Virginia’s water resources and everyone in the path of these projects will remain at risk.” The blog post goes on to list the many ways in which both MVP and ACP construction are not being done right, and concludes, “Governor Northam, you and you alone can make this right. It’s time for your administration and its agencies to put the citizens of this Commonwealth – our health and safety – above the corporate interests putting us, and our environment, at risk.”
Yes, as Northam himself said, “too much sediment” has been dumped into waterways. And Virginia citizens recognize that there has been too much evasion of responsibility by Northam and his administration.
Contact the Governor’s office and tell him so: 804-786-2211, or www.governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governors-office/