In a comprehensive, strongly-worded letter sent this week to members of the Virginia State Water Control Board (SWCB), lawyers from several conservation and environment groups stated that the Board “must be certain that it has ‘reasonable assurance’ that the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines will not violate Virginia’s water quality standards” or it must “deny the applications and reconsider certification for these projects only after the problems identified here are fixed.”
The October 25 letter highlighted the key legal issues confronting the SWCB in reviewing the proposed pipeline projects:
“1. The Board has well-established legal authority to deny 401-certification for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines to protect water quality.
“2. DEQ has not provided the Board the information it needs to conclude that it has reasonable assurance” that state water quality standards will be protected.
“3. DEQ has excluded from consideration other critical information that is necessary for the Board to determine that there is “reasonable assurance” that water quality standards will be protected.”
Signatories of the letter were: Ben Luckett, Appalachian Mountain Advocates;
Margaret Sanner, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Tammy Belinsky, Preserve Craig; Greg Buppert, Southern Environmental Law Center; and David Sligh, Wild Virginia.