The Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC) has filed objections with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding the agency’s proposal to issue a “Water Quality Certification” (WQC) that would give free rein to build utility lines through state streams and wetlands. The DEQ has indicated it might decide to include the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) under such blanket authority. The DPMC stated in its March 13 letter:
We object to the issuance of this WQC, because the proposed action fails to meet the requirements of federal and state laws. The record offered as support for this action includes no analysis to justify issuance of the WQC and, therefore provides no legal or technical basis for a finding by the DEQ. Further, the absence of the required analysis makes it impossible for members of the public to provide complete and effective comments during this notice period. The current proposal must be rejected.
At issue is the DEQ’s approach to issuing a certification for the ACP and MVP under section 401 of the Clean Water Act, which requires that “any applicant for a Federal license or permit to conduct any activity . . . which may result in any discharge into the navigable waters, shall provide the licensing or permitting agency a certification from the State in which the discharge originates or will originate . . . that any such discharge will comply with the applicable provisions” of the Act.
Support for the DPMC comments is strongly encouraged and can be accomplished at: https://boldalliance.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=20749. Please act by Friday, March 17!