The Virginia State Water Control Board meetings scheduled over the next two weeks provide a critical opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions on why water quality certifications should not be approved for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). As previously reported in ABRA Update, the Board is scheduled to meet on December 6 and 7 to consider the Mountain Valley Pipeline application, and on December 11 and 12 to consider the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. All meetings begin at 9:30 am at the Trinity Family Life Center, 3601 Dill Road, Richmond, VA.
The first-day agendas for both pipeline meetings call for a summary presentation by staff of comments made during the public comment period and hearings, followed by an opportunity for those who commented at the public hearings or filed comments during the public comment period to respond to the staff summary. Board consideration of the pending applications are slated to occur on the second day (December 7 for MVP; December 12 for ACP). Three-minute time limits will be imposed on those making comments.
The Department of Environmental Quality posted this week a two-page guidance document setting forth procedures for the meetings, including the following instructions for speakers:
- Only those persons who commented during the official public comment period (i.e., July 3, 2017 – August 22, 2017) may speak for up to 3 minutes to exercise their rights to respond to the summary of the prior proceedings including DEQ’s summary of comments received during the public comment period.
- Speakers must register. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. A person can only register for him or herself.
- Persons may pool their minutes to allow for a single presentation to the Board that does not exceed the time limitation of 3 minutes multiplied by the number of people pooling minutes, or 15 minutes, whichever is less.
ABRA has prepared a two-page summary on major points that should be made to the State Water Control Board. It is based on the October 25 letter sent to Board members by Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Southern Environmental Law Center and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.