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West Virginia DEP Abandons its Authority


November 1, 2017

In response to today’s announcement from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Quality that it is waiving its authority under the federal Clean Water Act to review water quality impacts from the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, POWHR issues the following statement:

Of all responses, a “waiver” is the most disappointing. For West Virginia officials to have wasted the opportunity to protect West Virginia waters seems senseless — or else, entirely calculated.  It seems a signal that the agency understood that in accurately applying the Clean Water Act protections and so called mitigation measures for water crossings through mountainous, karst and highly erodible terrain, that MVP’s application would fail.

Real mitigation of a 42-inch line in this rugged mountain terrain and sensitive water crossings is impossible.  It appears the powers that be would not allow that. And so the agency punted to the Corps of Engineers. 

We are disappointed of course, but utterly undeterred. In the face of this highly possible watershed disaster, and economic, environmental and social injustice it would bring, we are fueled to continue our challenge to the Mountain Valley Pipeline, as well as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline which poses the same grave threats to water quality.  

In light of West Virginia’s ill-advised choice today, we want to amplify our call to Virginia’s State Water Control Board to exercise every ounce of muscle it has in oversight of the permitting request for the Mountain Valley and the Atlantic Coast pipelines and in the full application of the Clean Water Act.

We call on all Virginians to remind the State Water Control Board of their authority and responsibility under the law to protect our communities and millions of people downstream from disaster. Click Here and Take Action Today!


Published by

R. Chisholm

Volunteer organizer and pipeline monitor for POWHR and Preserve Giles County. Coffee wrangler.