Cat McCue, 434-293-6373, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Adams, 828-964-7431, email@example.com
The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended to the Corps of Engineers that it not issue a stream-crossing permit currently under consideration for the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline. In a May 27 letter to the Corps, the EPA said that MVP has failed to show that muddy runoff from the project would not cause “significant degradation.” The agency said that even temporary fills could cause lasting impacts to water quality and aquatic species in watersheds in Virginia and West Virginia, including critical habitat and many streams designated as important resources.
The letter was recently made public as the result of a Freedom of Information request from Appalachian Mountain Advocates.
Statement from Amy Adams, NC Program Manager of Appalachian Voices:
“The EPA’s concerns mirror what community members and experts have been saying for years regarding the severity and extent of harm to waterways and wetlands in both states from the MVP. It’s now common knowledge that MVP has racked up more than 350 water-quality violations where construction has occurred in the two states — and the steepest terrain and most difficult water crossings are yet to come.
“The EPA’s clearly articulated concerns should also send a loud message to Virginia and West Virginia regulators who are reviewing their own water-crossing permit applications for the project — those permits must be denied. The threats of long-term and significant impacts to so many aquatic resources and critical habitats are too great for a pipeline that still has not proven it is even needed.”
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has indicated the draft “401” water permit for MVP will be available by September and will be followed by an open comment period and public hearings. A vote from the State Water Control Board would likely occur at the December 14, 2021 quarterly meeting.
Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.