A comment period for public input on the adequacy of the U.S. Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12 in protecting streams and wetlands crossed by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline began April 30. It ends on May 30. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced the specifics of the comment period on April 27, pursuant to a request of the State Water Control Board at its April 12 meeting. The DEQ announcement stated:
At the April 12, 2018 board meeting, discussion occurred as to whether NWP 12 is sufficiently protective of the Commonwealth’s aquatic resources. While the board raised no specific areas of concern; provided no technical information that NWP 12 was insufficient; and took no action to revisit certification of NWP 12 as it relates to MVP and ACP, the board decided to provide a 30-day written public comment opportunity.
The sole purpose of the written public comment period is for interested persons to submit technical comments and/or information for the MVP and ACP projects relevant to:
1) the sufficiency of the Corps NWP 12 permit’s general and regional conditions, as they relate to specific, wetland or stream crossing(s);
2) the sufficiency of the Corps NWP 12 permit authorization for each project, as related to specific, wetland or stream crossing(s); and/or
3) the sufficiency of the Commonwealth’s § 401 water quality certification of NWP 12, as related to specific, wetland or stream crossing(s)
All ABRA members are urged to file their own comments and encourage their members and constituencies to do so as well. Wild Virginia has prepared an excellent guide to provide assistance: “Suggestions for Comments to DEQ Public Notice Impacts from Waterbody Crossings and Water Quality Standards,” available by clicking here.