Charleston, WV — Today, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s Water Quality Certification, which is a permit required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act to ensure that a project can meet water quality standards. West Virginia’s approval was required before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could move forward with dredge-and-fill permits for the pipeline.
In response, Roberta Bondurant, Co-Chair of the Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights (POWHR) Coalition, said: “While we are disappointed in the DEP’s decision to grant MVP the 401 permit, our movement to stop MVP across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina is strong, and together we will work until we stop this unnecessary and harmful fracked gas pipeline. We encourage the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to take community input and complaints seriously – a duty we see as imperative to effective civil service. We urge the DEP to continue to hold MVP accountable to West Virginians’ health and safety when their waters are under real and present threat.
“Across steep slopes, highly erodible soils, and known seismic zones and karst, West Virginians and their mountain waters have suffered badly under the scourge of three years of MVP construction. Additionally, the Mountain State has been hit hard in recent years by flooding throughout hurricane seasons. West Virginians know that extreme weather disasters caused by fossil-fueled climate change are not a random blip on the radar. Without strong and powerful change, they will likely intensify in the years ahead. Our society must relinquish its greed and gluttony for massive fossil fuel infrastructure in the face of a global climate emergency.”
Peter Anderson, Appalachian Voices Virginia Policy Director said: “Contrary to robust evidence that the MVP cannot be built without violating state water quality standards — and despite the company’s wretched environmental track record — the West Virginia’s DEP has regrettably granted MVP new permission to pollute. We hope the Biden Administration listens to the thousands of members of the public who oppose this project and finds that more water pollution in service of an unneeded project is not in the public interest.”