4-3 Decision Recognizes Risk to Virginia’s Drinking Water Quality, Fish and Wildlife Habitats, and Recreation
Washington, DC – December 12 – We are relieved that the decision of Virginia’s State Water Control Board (SWCB) to require additional information about erosion and sediment control and stormwater management before its approval of the Clean Water Act Water Quality Certification for the construction and operation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) becomes effective.
As we understand it, the SWCB has required the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to analyze the impact and protections necessary to preserve erosion and sediment control as well as stormwater management and to present that report to the SWCB which will then determine whether to add further conditions. SWCB is requiring the kind of information we insisted that they needed.
Potomac Riverkeeper Network and Shenandoah Riverkeeper have long asserted that the ACP poses a clear danger to Virginia’s rivers, drinking water sources and forest habitats, and we further noted that by refusing to consider important data about the 900 river crossings planned for the ACP and the impact on erosion and sediment, DEQ cut dangerous and unlawful corners which would jeopardize water quality.
While we are disappointed that SWCB did not deny the certification outright, we appreciate its careful consideration of the public’s concerns. Our initial understanding is that the 401 certification is not effective, and Dominion cannot proceed with the pipeline until SWCB reviews and signs off on DEQ’s approval of erosion and sediment control and stormwater management plans.
Contact: Fritz Schneider, 301.728.4811, fritz(at)prknetwork.org