Can you imagine what our recent torrential thunderstorms are doing to the exposed terrain and rivers and streams along the paths of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)? (See photo on the right of huge mudslide at a Mountain Valley Pipeline construction site in Franklin County.)This is yet another example of why these fracked gas pipeline projects should not be rushed and why we can't rely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) to ensure our waterways are protected. It's up to Virginia to step up in this process, and the way to do this is by requiring a stream-by-stream review of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.
The Virginia State Water Control Board opened a new 30-day public comment period -- deadline has been extended to June 15 due to DEQ computer problems -- to hear citizens’ input on where the nationwide permit falls short in upholding state water quality standards and where stream-by-stream reviews are needed for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.
Tell the State Water Control Board to protect Virginia waters. We should not use a federal “blanket” permit to allow pipeline construction! The Nationwide Permit 12 is inappropriate for projects of this size, and our state Department of Environmental Quality should be analyzing the likely impacts at each water crossing instead.
Remember, YOU are the expert on the water resources that you use in your area. If you are downstream from either pipeline’s path, your use of waters is likely to be impacted. Simply tell the Board where and how you use these waters.
See below for instructions on how to submit your comments and what to include in them.
- All written comments submitted must include the name(s), mailing address(es), and telephone number(s) of the person(s) commenting.
- All written comments submitted must reference exact wetlands and streams crossings using information — such as latitude/longitude or road mile markers — that is detailed enough to allow DEQ to identify the crossing or wetland of interest.
- Comments may be submitted in the following ways:
By mail — DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218
By hand delivery — DEQ, 1111 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Written comments deadline has been extended to June 15th due to DEQ computer problems.
Our partners at Wild Virginia crafted a guide to help write comments to ensure they meet the State Water Control Board’s criteria. Our friends at Augusta County Alliance have also listed some examples below where the NWP 12 falls short and ways you can equip the State Water Control Board to advocate for better protections for our streams or wetlands:
NWP 12 does not consider cumulative impacts to water quality where there are multiple crossings along the same stream and its tributaries.
Without doing individual stream crossing reviews, the total threat to our water supply is not understood. For example, all of Staunton’s water comes either Gardner Spring or the reservoir in the National Forest, both located in the county and both downstream of intense pipeline construction. Since the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project began, city officials have been asking for individual wetland and stream crossing reviews in order to protect the city’s water supplies.
The proposed permit does not carefully examine on a case-by-case basis the unique characteristics of our special places. That is why our comments are so important. They need to hear what you and your neighbors know about the streams and wetlands that surround you — their special aquatic life, wildlife, recreational uses, and other features. Just don’t forget to mention your stream by name.
Without detailed review and research of our headwaters, there is no way for the pipeline developers and regulators to know what our frequent hurricane deluges do to the river bottoms and stream banks where the pipe is proposed to be buried. If you have information or pictures of what happens to a specific crossing during flood conditions, let the State Water Control Board know. An exposed and fractured pipe is an environmental and safety concern.
Use the form below to send a comment now!