The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and 22 other organizations (including ABRA and
several of its members) filed comments on July 26 with the West Virginia Department of
Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) proposed modification of Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12),
the permit program that governs the conditions by which projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline
can cross rivers and streams. The comments state:
We oppose the WVDEP’s modifications to NWP 12 special conditions, which weaken protections
for over 500 of West Virginia’s rivers and streams proposed to be crossed by the Atlantic Coast
Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline. We urge the Corps to decline WVDEP’s request to
modify the 401 State Water Quality Certification of the Army Corps of Engineers NWP 12.
The WVDEP’s modifications are unnecessary. WVDEP has the authority now to permit large
pipeline construction projects coverage using individual 401 Water Quality Certifications. Instead
of following through with the proposed modifications that weaken protections for rivers and
streams, WVDEP can use individual 401 Water Quality Certifications to provide stream and
wetland protections tailored to each project. Army Corps must deny WVDEP’s modifications
which attempt to make it easier to permit large pipeline construction projects when they cannot
meet existing regulations.