On Monday, December 11, 2017, Shenandoah Riverkeeper Mark Frondorf and VP of Litigation & Programs Phillip Musegaas testified at the Virginia State Water Control Board hearing on the 401 water quality certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
They urged the Board to deny the Clean Water Act certification for this pipeline because the Board does not have sufficient information before it to rationally conclude that this project will comply with Virginia’s water quality standards. In addition, the Board has well-established legal authority to deny water certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in order to protect water quality. The Board is expected to make an independent decision after equally considering input from the public, DEQ, the factual record, and the law. There is nothing in the law that mandates Board’s unquestioning deference to DEQ’s recommendations – it’s just the opposite.
Mark called on the Board to recall Thomas Jefferson who said that, In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
He implored the Board “to stand like a rock, uphold your principles, protect our water, and vote against the 401 certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”
Phillip reminded the Board that “You serve the public, not Director Paylor and not DEQ. They may feel free to choose politics over science, and expediency over deliberation, no matter the cost to Virginia’s natural resources and communities.” But the Board as the representative of the public should not.