Virginia deq pledges thorough review of pipeline impacts business roanoke.com electricity of the heart

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DEQ came under fire last month from pipeline project watchdogs after the department reported it had miscommunicated in April when advising it would look “at each wetland, stream crossing, etc., [by the pipeline] separately to determine specific requirements that would be necessary impact of electricity in the 1920s.” In May, DEQ clarified that it will rely on the Army Corps of Engineers Nationwide Permit 12 permitting process to examine stream and wetlands crossings. The department said it would focus instead on potential threats to water quality from other aspects and circumstances of pipeline construction for DEQ’s 401 water quality certification process.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Betty Lesko, president of the Roanoke-based Blue Ridge Land Conservancy, wrote, “The Nationwide Permit process relies on boilerplate gas bubble in back permit conditions, rather than individualized permit requirements to safeguard our waterways from the sediment that would be created by the MVP’s construction.”

In his email, Hayden cited a host of requirements and conditions reflective of the “additional measures” deemed necessary by DEQ — ranging from a demand for water-quality monitoring before, during and after construction to details about the pipeline companies’ plans for construction and operation of the projects in karst landscapes featuring sinkholes, caves, underground streams and the like.

As interstate pipelines, both the 303-mile, $3.5 billion Mountain Valley project and the 600-mile, $5.1 billion Atlantic Coast project require approval electricity lesson plans middle school from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before construction can begin. FERC has announced plans to release a final environmental impact statement for the Mountain Valley project on June 23 and for the Atlantic Coast project on July 21.

Hayden said DEQ considers the Corps of Engineers to be its “federal partner” in the Corps’ permit process that examines “dredge and fill activities” in wetlands and streams. He said the Nationwide Permit 12 process “sets forth the conditions and gas monkey cast requirements necessary to ensure water quality is protected during the construction of pipelines in wetlands and streams.” He said DEQ does not agree with the “blanket permit” characterization of the Nationwide Permit, and he said its conditions for crossing water bodies are comprehensive.

Two people who have actively bird-dogged the DEQ’s plans for environmental review of the two pipeline projects are Rick Webb and David Sligh, both affiliated with the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition. Sligh also serves as conservation director for Wild Virginia and is a lawyer who previously worked at DEQ. Webb is an environmental scientist.

“DEQ tgas advisors’s apparent confidence in the Corps and its process is completely misplaced and is a betrayal of citizens who expect the McAuliffe administration to fulfill its independent duties under Virginia law and the Clean Water Act,” Sligh said. “DEQ’s claims that the state is doing all it can and should is just another in a long line of instances when officials have failed to be transparent or straight with the public.”

Atlantic Coast filed its response gas 85 on May 31. Mountain Valley responded the next day. Its cover letter cited the draft environmental impact statement issued Sept. 16 by FERC for the project, a document that suggested the pipeline threatened no long-term or significant impacts on surface waters or groundwater and concluded that impacts on wetlands would not be significant.

Hayden said DEQ will review the pipeline companies’ responses, develop additional conditions for construction and operation designed to protect water quality and give the public an opportunity to comment. He said the department plans to hold two public hearings for the Mountain Valley project and three for the Atlantic Coast project, which would cross more miles of the state.

Pipeline foes in Virginia have noted that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation effectively stopped two natural gas pipeline projects — the Constitution Pipeline and the Northern Access 935 gas block Pipeline — by denying the pipeline companies’ applications for 401 water quality certification. Both companies have filed appeals with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.