Stop the rubber-stamp for oil & gas pipelines through Virginia's waters
The Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is aiming to rubber-stamp permit applications for "utlilty" projects like the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipelines, and eliminate any state-sponsored environmental review of simiar large-scale projects that are abusing eminent domain for private gain, and threatening Virginia's streams and wetlands.
The state has proposed issuing an all-encompassing "Water Quality Certification" permit that would rubber-stamp any project that has received a controversial "Nationwide Permit 12" (NWP 12) from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers -- including the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines.
The "NWP 12" has been criticized as a "de-facto federal authorization of the project" that elimiates any meaningful review that would normally be mandated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Virginia's DEQ has been empowered to issue such a "fast-track" past environmental reviews only if the DEQ can ensure that all Virginia water quality standards will be met.
The already significantly weakened and toothless NWP 12 environmental review does not meet the standards established by the state to protect the great variety of waters that would be affected across Virginia.
The Army Corps openly admits that aquatic life and recreational uses will be damaged or eliminated, sometimes for years and sometimes permanently -- even if the NWP 12 permit requirements are met.
These damages cannot be allowed under Virginia's water quality standards.
We must protect Virginia's waters from this rubber-stamp approval of pipelines and "utility" projects.
The Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition has submitted an eight-page objection to the DEQ's "Water Quality Certification" proposal.
Add your name to register your objection to DEQ's proposed Water Quality Certification. Deadline: Comments must be submitted to DEQ by Friday, March 17.
2. "DPMC Comments to Department of Environmental Quality," PipelineUpdate.org, 3/13/17.