Wild Virginia posts summary of comments on state license for MVP
Wild Virginia submitted a report to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the State Water Control Board summarizing thousands of public comments regarding the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s proposal to dig and blast waterways and wetlands in western Virginia.
The board will take oral and written testimony from the public into account when making a decision on a water license for MVP in December.
The licensing decision will fulfill the state’s responsibilities under Virginia law and the Federal Clean Water Act. A denial by the council would serve as a veto of a related license by the US Army Corps of Engineers covering the same activities.
Wild Virginia undertook this task because the DEQ decided not to provide such a summary to the board, as the Ministry has traditionally done. It is essential that the board and the public get a full picture of the views expressed on this important issue. This summary will help you get there.
While some documents submitted at the end of the comment period could not be obtained in time to be included in this review, this document provides both useful insight and very important specific information.
Selected findings from the synthesis report include:
- Of 2,290 comments reviewed, 2,069 (90%) oppose the project.
- Only a small number of comments reviewed deal specifically with the central legal question to be answered by counsel; so the board can ensure that water quality standards will not be violated.
- Almost all of the comments that deal specifically with the issues that should govern the board’s decision are opposed to approval. These comments overwhelmingly describe gaps in the data and analysis submitted by MVP and describe serious risks to our waters, some of which will almost certainly occur.
- Out of just 33 sites where MVP has ever crossed water bodies in Virginia, MVP did not give DEQ advance notification, as required, in nine cases (over 25% of the time). As a result, DEQ has not been able to adequately monitor these risky operations in the waterways and pollution issues may have gone unnoticed.
- A necessary component of Virginia’s water quality standards, the anti-degradation policy to prevent damage to high-quality water, was not even mentioned in DEQ documents and has not been addressed by the data or the MVP or DEQ analyzes.
According to Jacqueline Goodrum, Conservation Policy Associate at Wild Virginia: âWe presented all the information and documents that we could collect, whether for or against the approval of the project, and we did it in a simple way. . We have also provided board members (and the public) with links within the document so that they have easy access to every comment we may acquire and can draw their own conclusions.
âWe don’t assume that board members will agree with our views or those of any other party,â continued Goodrum, âhowever, one fact seems clear to us.
provided a huge body of evidence, supported by legal analysis, scientific reports and data, indicating that MVP did not prove his case. Supporters of the project’s approval provided very little of this type of information, and DEQ also did not cite such evidence in its recommendation to the board.
âWe have prepared this document because we respect that Council members devote their time and effort to this important work and, as we wrote in the report, we see ourselves as partners with all who work. to protect our waters, âsaid David. Sligh, director of conservation for Wild Virginia.
âWe want the facts to be known as widely and clearly as possible, because we are convinced that if the evidence is examined thoroughly and fairly, the issuance of this permit can never be substantiated. We and thousands of other Virginians have and will continue to work hard to see that the file is complete and that the truth is out. The board has information that was not available to it in 2017 that should help determine the outcome now. MVP has caused a lot of destruction and pain to local residents and water users so far and these proposals would be a blow to our precious resources and our communities. No other damage should be allowed.