The April 12 decision by the Virginia State Water Control Board to open a 30-day public comment period regarding individual waterbody crossing analyses for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline is still lacking in implementing information. A inquiry by ABRA on April 24 to the Department of Environmental Quality concerning the delay in information produced the following response:
We may have some general information about the Board action published tomorrow (April 25) afternoon but not the start date. Water staff is finalizing the public notice, which once approved, will trigger a start date. The notice needs to include NWP 12 maps and email boxes so all info that one would need to provide comments is complete.
In the meantime, the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition (DPMC) wrote Governor Northam on April 23 to complain about the delay, asking: “what’s the holdup?” The DPMC letter continues:
DEQ’s foot dragging seems to represent a show of disrespect for the Board’s authority. This is unacceptable, and we call on you to stand with the Board and the general public and order DEQ to act NOW. During your campaign for Governor, you stated that individual crossing reviews were needed. And, in a recent speech, you assured the public that site-by-site analyses would be made.
Governor Northam: are we to rely on your assurances or will they prove to be mere empty promises?
As of 5 pm, April 25, no information on the new comment period had been posted on the DEQ website.