August 1, 2017

Suggested Comments – Virginia Water Quality Certifications for the ACP and MVP

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting comments through Aug. 22, 2017.

Comments for ACP should be submitted to: 
See ACP Public Notice

Comments for MVP should be submitted to:
  MVP Public Notice

Describe ways you use waterbodies that would be directly affected by pipeline work or are downstream of those areas. If you use a stream for fishing, boating, swimming, or just for aesthetic enjoyment those are valid recreational use that DEQ must protect. Describe waters you know to have valuable and sensitive species (brook trout, mussels, endangered species, etc.).

Other Sample Comment Topics:

The DEQ….

    • Failed to provide adequate public participation: The public participation process is deficient and must be re-started or expanded. The current schedule deprives the public of the chance to play its rightful role.
    • Failed to consider cumulative impacts. DEQ must consider cumulative impacts to state waters from all pollution sources to waters that would be affected by these projects. Such cumulative impacts analyses are conducted by DEQ for all other individual reviews of regulated polluting activities.
    • Refused to consider evidence: DEQ has illegally refused to even consider that the evidence may require it to deny certification for either proposed project. The burden of proof to assure that all water quality standards will be met is on the applicants and DEQ.
    • Must not accept late submissions: DEQ may not allow vital detailed information to be submitted by the pipeline companies after the certification process has been completed.
    • Must limit variances: DEQ must forbid or limit variances to water quality protection requirements in the certifications, not allow open-ended authority for agencies or companies to grant variances after certifications are issued.
    • Must consider impacts: DEQ has not analyzed impacts to recreational and aesthetic uses that would result from construction or maintenance of the pipelines.
    • Must protect existing uses: The activities proposed will impair or deny existing or designated uses that must be fully protected in affected state waters.
    • Must analyze requirements to protect streams: DEQ has failed to analyze whether antidegradation requirements to maintain high water quality in streams can be met in any of its analyses.

Read More:
Legal Bases for Section 401 Reviews