Virginia state officials have been asked to use the full scope of the Commonwealth’s authority in assessing the impacts of the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. In a June 29 letter from 86 conservation and environment organizations to Governor McAuliffe and David Payor, Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the groups urged that:
- Individual water certification review for wetland and stream crossings be used, rather than relying on the Army Corp of Engineers’ nationwide permit system;
- Public hearings on certifying water quality of the projects under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act – a state responsibility – be deferred “until the pipeline developers have provided all information for thorough DEQ review, and the public has had an opportunity examine that information;
- Th 401 review not be rushed, as “protection of Virginia’s streams, riversers and wetlands is too important to place risk.”
The letter to Governor McAuliffe and Director Paylor was spearheaded by the Virginia Conservation Network, Southern Environmental Law Center and the Shenandoah Valley Network.