Citizens groups applaud legislation on natural gas pipelines introduced by Southwest Virginia lawmakers

Three legislators from Southwest Virginia have introduced several bills in the 2018 General Assembly aimed at protecting water quality and landowner rights from the construction of fracked-gas pipelines, such as the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. The bills would require the Department of Environmental Quality to perform robust water permitting and impact review, and restrict the ability of pipeline companies to access private property.

Delegate Chris Hurst has introduced:
HB 1187
HB 1188

Delegate Sam Rasoul has introduced:
HB 1141
HB 1294

Senator John Edwards has introduced:
SB 324 (a companion bill to HB1187)

The following are statements from organizations who represent Virginians working to stop the massive, fracked-gas pipelines, which would cross Virginia waterways more than 1,000 times, cut through hundreds of family farms and private properties, threaten the health and safety of thousands of people, and worsen the impacts of climate change. Studies have show the pipelines are not needed to meet Virginia’s energy demands.

Peter Anderson, Appalachian Voices, 434-293-6373,
“We applaud Delegates Rasoul and Hurst and Senator Edwards for standing up for their communities, and for Virginians all across the state. These bills demonstrate their understanding of the enormous, unnecessary and harmful impacts the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines would have on people and on the environment. These legislators are showing leadership and using their office to make positive change in the commonwealth, as they were elected to do. Bravo.”

Roberta Bondurant, Preserve Bent Mountain, a member of Protect our Water, Heritage, Rights Coalition (POWHR): (540) 793-4769,
“It is time for our elected officials to acknowledge and reckon with the abuses imposed on landowners in pipeline surveying. Landowners along the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline route have endured chaos, from failure to require identification of surveyors, to police officials hamstrung by technicalities of enforcement and failure of the courts to hold the pipeline company’s representatives accountable. Southwest Virginia has been like the ‘Wild Wild West’ since this massive pipeline was proposed. Without reform, our communities are guaranteed more of the same abuse. We appreciate Sen. Edwards, Del. Rasoul, and Del. Hurst and their commitment to working for the rights of their constituents.”

Nancy Sorrells, Augusta County Alliance, a member of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA): 540-292-4170;
“The impacts of the interstate pipeline projects proposed in Virginia will be immense, and without safeguards like those proposed today, Virginians will be in harm’s way. We don’t get a second chance to get this right. Now’s the time for the legislature to put citizens’ health and safety above corporate interests.”