The many deficiencies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) were strongly criticized in a March 28 letter to Cheryl A. LaFleur, Acting Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, by the Augusta County, VA Board of Supervisors. Supervisors Chairman Tracy Pyles said:
After our review of the DEIS, we are concerned with the documents continual acceptance of Atlantic submitted plans and procedures as sufficient in mitigating adverse impacts. We believe that the DEIS is essentially a summarization of Atlantic’s claims, figures, and numbers rather than a critical analysis in which these claims are thoroughly vetted for their comprehensiveness, evaluated independently and verified for accuracy.
The letter proceeds to cite specific examples of missing or incorrect analysis on alternative routes, traffic impact, urban service areas (under the county’s comprehensive plan), agriculture, landfill sites, water sources and karst. In the conclusion to his letter, Chairman Pyles said:
In conclusion, we would like to reference a recent ruling by a federal judge that Dominion’s coal ash site in Chesapeake, Virginia is leaking arsenic and is in violation of the Clean Water Act. This revelation demonstrates that mitigation plans are not always sufficient in reducing negative environmental and health/safety impacts to “less than significant levels.” It also demonstrates the vigilance that is necessary on the part of assessment, permitting and enforcement agencies to protect the environment and public health. We hope that the Final Environmental Impact Statement will embody such vigilance and answer the questions we have detailed above.