VMRC Hearing – Further Info

We have posted recently about the Virginia Marine Resources Commission hearing on Friday March 16, 2018, in Norfolk.  If you wish to attend the hearing, contact info@augustacountyalliance.org about car pooling.

Here is additional information from the Augusta County Alliance:

During the American Revolution, even as it appeared the fledgling U.S. Navy was going to be destroyed by the superior British Navy, American Commander John Paul Jones answered the request for surrender with these immortal words: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

That is our stance on this unnecessary and destructive pipeline. We must continue to push back at every opportunity and Never Give Up. Next Friday, March 16, at 9:30 a.m. in Newport News will be one more opportunity to speak up—at the hearing by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to consider the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s permit application to run its 42-inch high pressure pipeline under state regulated waters, i.e. beneath streams and wetlands with drainage areas of 5 square miles or more. 

On the list [click here for the entire application] are 26 streams in Augusta County, 5 in Bath, 1 in Highland, 11 in Nelson, and 10 in Buckingham.

If you want to read some powerful letters of objection to this permit application, here’s a link (click on ‘Additional Docs’ on the right of the page).

If any of you are interested in taking a road trip to Newport News, let us know and we can arrange a car pool. In the meantime, this citizen board needs to hear from you by email about why they should NOT issue this permit on March 16. Please contact Board members  and express your concerns about this application.  Send your comments via email to Commission Secretary Matt Hull at Matt.Hull@mrc.virginia.gov and request that he distribute your letter to all the commissioners prior to the Friday hearing.

Here are some reasons that the permit should be delayed or simply denied:

  1. They don’t have enough information to guarantee that our waters and river bottoms will not be harmed. They have not done adequate on-the-ground surveys and they haven’t taken any soil samples. They have also failed to identify the public uses of the streams that could be affected, including uses such as drinking water, fishing, wildlife habitat enhancement, and outdoor recreation. The information provided to landowners is cursory and riddled with errors. [click here to read some letters from Augusta County landowners]
  2. Dominion’s rationale for proposing the less safe, less environmentally friendly open-cut trenching for many stream crossings rather than horizontal directional drilling is that the former is less costly to the company’s budget. The costs incurred by a private corporation CANNOT be a consideration in a public resource.
  3. Dominion has not provided any evidence to ensure that trout streams will not be harmed.
  4. The company has not shown how it will keep increased sediment from construction out of the Chesapeake Bay. 

In your communication to the VMRC board, remind them that their duty lies with protecting the public trust under which these streams and rivers exist. Feel free to personalize your email with your story of how you, as a citizen of Virginia, use these waters and what the potential for permanent damage to this amazing natural resource is. You can certainly mention those specific waterways that will be crossed, but you do not have to; you also do not need to know construction details. Include photos if you want. We all know that cutting through or drilling under river beds causes mud spills and erosion. The type of hurricane-related flooding that we experience regularly can scour riverbeds and expose pipes that could lead to disaster.