The December 12 decision by the Virginia State Water Control Board to approve, with conditions, a water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) has finally been made official with a December 20 notification.  In its certification document, required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality makes clear that the effective date by which time construction can commence on the ACP is delayed until several conditions are satisfied, as follows:

This certification shall be effective only following submission, review and final approval as required by law of the Karst Mitigation Plan, Annual Standards and Specifications, and Erosion and Sediment Control Plans and Stormwater Management Plans, and a report to the Board and the public by DEQ on the adequacy of these materials. The Board may consider further actions on the Certification following the review of the DEQ report.

Pursuant to 33 U. S.C. § 1341 (a)(3), the Board reserves the right to impose further conditions if any existing plans and/or mitigation measures are amended by the Owner and/or FERC that may materially reduce the water quality protection provided thereunder.

An excellent analysis of the December 12 decision has been prepared by David Sligh, Conservation Director for Wild Virginia.  “What Did the State Water Control Board Do?” is available here.

Virginia DEQ Issues 401 Certificate for ACP: With Strings!
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