VA DEQ Issues Notice of Violation to MVP

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The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued a Notice of Violation to the Mountain Valley Pipeline for inadequate and failed erosion and sediment controls along the Virginia segment of the route. The Notice is dated July 9, 2018, and the agency issued a news release on the Notice July 10.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has, by contrast, issued four Notices of Violation to MVP to date.

In the Notice, DEQ cites the following problem areas:

  1. Upon May 30 inspection of Grassy Hill Road and June 6 inspection of Mount Tabor, clean water diversions were not installed.
  2. Corrective actions for issues on Cahas Mountain Road, Catawba Road, and Mount Tabor were not taken in a timely manner and were not documented appropriately.
  3. On May 23, DEQ staff saw erosion and sediment controls that were in need of repair, and as a result were releasing sediment-laden stormwater off of the construction right of way.
  4. Upon evaluation of issues observed on Cahas Mountain Road following the May 23 inspection, DEQ staff determined that two separate streams were impacted on a combined linear distance of 2,800 feet and with up to 11 inches of sediment along the distance.
  5. During inspections of Cahas Mountain Road, Callaway Road, and Grassy Hill Road at various times on May 21, May 23, and June 13, DEQ staff observed areas of stockpiled earth which were not stabilized with the minimum standard controls.
  6. On June 13, DEQ inspectors found that water bars were not installed on slopes near Callaway Road and Grassy Hill Road, nor were controls at the base of the slopes adequately installed.
  7. During June 26 and 27 inspections, DEQ staff found that four wetland crossings were “not completely installed prior to use,” and that water bars above two streams needed to be repaired, as sediment was leaving the right of way. Additionally, two different access roads required maintenance.
  8. During June 26 and 27 inspections, DEQ staff saw sediment-laden water had left the right of way and entered four different streams. Combined impacts were evaluated to cover a distance of 6,009 linear feet with a depth of up to seven inches of sediment.

“The NOV requires MVP representatives to contact DEQ within 10 days to discuss how to remedy the situation and how they will prevent future violations,” DEQ said in their new release. “Enforcement actions are frequently resolved with payment of civil charges and required actions to correct the violations.”

If DEQ levies fines against the pipeline company, they could amount to $32,500 per day and up to $100,000 in additional fines. DEQ has not yet indicated whether they intend to fine MVP for the violations.

Though they have legal authority to stop work, DEQ specifically indicated that the Notice of Violation is not a stop work order, and that the Notice of Violation is not directly associated with the current suspension of work in the Commonwealth.

DEQ Notice of Violation, Issued 7/9/18

Related Coverage:

DEQ: MVP broke the law, has inadequate erosion controls [WSLS 10]