Lawyers for several key conservation groups sent a detailed letter on October 25, 2017, to the Virginia State Water Control Board laying out why the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline cannot be approved at this time by the Board due to numerous concerns about the impacts of the projects on water quality in the Commonwealth.
Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the board cannot approve the pipelines without “reasonable assurance” that the pipelines would not violate Virginia’s water quality standards. As it stands, the board simply does not have enough information from the projects’ developers or from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to make that determination, the letter states.
In particular, the DEQ has excluded from consideration of the state water quality certifications the central problem of how the pipeline developers plan to address erosion and sediment pollution and stormwater management during the construction of the massive projects.
Organizations signing the letter were the Southern Environmental Law Center, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Wild Virginia, and Preserve Craig.