Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comments on the draft water quality certifications designed to protect water quality along the routes of the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. There will be five public hearings in August (see DEQ schedule and our Events calendar), and they are also accepting written comments on both pipelines through Aug. 22. The mailing address is Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, Va. 23218. The email address is email@example.com.
“These hearings and the comment period are very important to helping DEQ meet its goal of protecting water quality,” DEQ director David Paylor said in their June 30, 2017 press release. “The pipeline construction is a complicated process, and we look forward to receiving valuable public input as these projects proceed.”
However, as noted in our story, Where Are the Plans?, the DEQ has not released any of the site-specific erosion and sediment control, stormwater management, karst terrain, water quality, etc. plans upon which the public needs to comment. DEQ has, however, released the seven-page Draft Certification No. 17-002 – 401 Water Quality Certification for the ACP, listing 15 general conditions, limitations, and/or requirements. None of these are site-specific, but in the absence of any site-specific plans, the general conditions can certainly be used as a basis for public comments.
So please write your letters and send your emails to DEQ – it is up to us to give them the input they request! (Especially if they will not release site-specific plans!)