The Virginia State Water Control Board voted 4-3 today to reconsider the Clean Water Act section 401 certification that the board approved last December for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Six days after Attorney General Mark Herring filed an enforcement suit against MVP, LLC for violations of state water laws and terms of the 401 certification, and following testimony today from citizens who documented violations along the pipeline’s path, new board member James Lofton made the motion, which prevailed.
Just hours earlier, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated key permits from the U.S. Forest Service that would have allowed Dominion Energy to build its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline across two national forests and the Appalachian Trail.
Both projects were dealt major setbacks on a single day just less than one week ago, as public opposition to both continues to grow across the state and beyond, and the courts continue to find deep flaws with the regulatory processes.
Statement from Lara Mack, Virginia Field Coordinator:
“We are extremely grateful to water board members Lofton, Jasinski, Wayland and Dean for taking this action, and hearing community members’ first-hand accounts of destruction to waterways during Mountain Valley Pipeline construction, which has been as bad or worse than we imagined. Since construction of the MVP began, muddy runoff has polluted streams and creeks repeatedly and our watersheds have been degraded as a result.
“We now call on the DEQ to do what’s necessary — and has been necessary for months — and issue a stop work order for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.”
Statement from Peter Anderson, Virginia Program Manager:
“We are very pleased that the Fourth Circuit refused to uphold the Forest Service’s rushed permits for the unnecessary Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The court rightly emphasized that the agency is supposed to protect these lands for the people, not serve the whims of industry. Without these key permits, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should now order ACP to stop work along the entire route.”
Cat McCue, Communications Director, 434-293-6373, firstname.lastname@example.org