The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have formally announced the dates for hearings and comment periods for considering applications for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to be certified in each state under the requirements of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
The June 30 announcement from DEQ calls for an overall comment period from July 3 to August 22 for draft water quality certifications for both the ACP and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) plus public hearings – 3 for the ACP and 2 for the MVP to be conducted in August (dates and locations below). Given the significance of the DEQ’s consideration of the water quality applications for the two pipelines, a longer comment period is warranted. An effort is underway to achieve an extension of the comment period.
The draft certification documents for each pipeline (links below) upon which comments should be made are written with the presumption that the pipeline qualifies for receiving certification. Thus, the burden for persons submitting written comments or providing oral testimony at the hearings is to provide arguments as to why the ACP or MVP should not receive certification from the DEQ.
All persons concerned about the water quality impacts of the ACP and MVP are strongly urged to file written comments on the draft certification documents and, if possible, to participate in the public hearings.
Written comments for the ACP draft certification document should be sent by email to: ; or by mail to: DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218. For those wishing to comment on the MVP draft certification document, written comments should be sent by email to: ; and by mail to: DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218.
The public hearings schedule for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is:
- Monday, August 7, 2017, from 6 to 10 p.m. — James Madison University, Festival Conference and Student Center, Grand Ballroom, 1301 Carrier Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22807. Parking is in Lots C11, C12, and D3.
- Thursday, August 10, 2017, from 6 to 10 p.m. — Longwood University, Jarman Auditorium, 201 High St., Farmville, VA 23901. Parking is in Wheeler Lot, Crafts Lot, High Street Lot, Randolph Lot or other university-owned lots.
- Monday, August 14, 2017, from 6 to 10 p.m. — Dinwiddie High School Auditorium, 11501 Boisseau Road, Dinwiddie, VA 23841. Parking is only in designated areas on school property.
The public hearing schedule for the Mountain Valley Pipeline is:
- Tuesday, August 8, 2017, from 6 to 10 p.m. — Radford University, Preston/Bondurant Auditorium, 801 East Main St., Radford, VA 24142. Parking is only in Lot A, or Lots E and U.
- Wednesday, August 9, 2017, from 6 to 10 p.m. — Chatham High School Auditorium, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham, VA 24531. Parking is only in designated areas on school property.
The West Virginia DEP published on July 1 in local newspapers its notice of a comment period for Section 401 certification for the ACP (the agency has already approved 401 certification for the MVP). The comment period concludes August 4. Written comments should be emailed to: or mailed to: WVDEP Division of Water and Waste Management, Att: Laura Cooper, 601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV 25304-2345. Public hearings will be held on:
- Monday, July 31, 6 p.m. – Buckhannon-Upshur High School Audiorium, Buckhannon, WV
- Tuesday, August 1, 6 p.m.– Pocahontas County High School Auditorium, Dunmore, WV
The North Carolina Department of Water Resources, as previously announced in Update, will conduct two public hearings on that state’s Section 401 certification for the ACP, as follows:
- Tuesday, July 18, 6-9 p.m. – Fayetteville Technical Community College, Cumberland Hall, Fayetteville, NC. (sign-in for speakers at 5 pm),
- Thursday, July 20, 6-9 p.m. –Nash Community College, Brown Hall, Rocky Mount, NC. (sign-in for speakers at 5 pm).