Protesting the MVP Project Involves Financial Exposure and Stream Damages

by Duane Nichols on June 30, 2017

No Pipeline (MVP, ACP, etc.)

Mountain Valley Pipeline opponents target bank with latest protest

From a News Report by Joe Dashiell, WDBJ News 7, Roanoke, VA, June 27, 2017

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline have opened a new front in their fight against the controversial project. Tuesday afternoon, more than a dozen people protested outside the Wells Fargo Tower in downtown Roanoke.

Pipeline opponents say Wells Fargo is one of the six major banks financing construction of the natural gas pipeline. The protestors were urging customers to close their accounts.

Carolyn Reilly is a Franklin County landowner, whose property lies in the path of the proposed natural gas pipeline. “I’m here out of gratitude to someone who is saying I am choosing to move my money and close my accounts with Wells Fargo.”

The protesters were also challenging Well Fargo’s participation in the Dakota Access Pipeline. And Wells Fargo shared the following statement Tuesday evening.

“As a company committed to environmental sustainability and human rights, we respect all the differing opinions being expressed in this dispute. We are closely following the developments in this situation and are hopeful that all parties involved will work together for a peaceful and positive outcome.”

“Wells Fargo is one of 17 financial institutions involved in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. The loans we have provided represent less than five percent of the total, and we are contractually bound to fulfill our legal obligations under the credit agreement so long as our customer continues to meet all of its terms and conditions.”

“The DAPL project was evaluated by an independent engineer to be compliant with the Equator Principles, a framework adopted by Wells Fargo in 2005 that is designed to determine, assess, and manage social and environmental risks and impacts of projects. As a result of issues that have arisen in this case, we have enhanced our due diligence in sectors subject to our Environmental and Social Risk Management policy to include more focused research into whether or not indigenous communities are impacted and/or have been properly consulted.”


WV DEP, its chief challenged on pipeline approval

From an Article by Ken Ward, Charleston Gazette, June 9, 2017

Five local, state and national citizen groups have asked a federal appeals court to overturn the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s approval of a state authorization for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Lawyers for the groups filed their petition for review Friday afternoon with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Last month, DEP Secretary Austin Caperton refused to grant a hearing to environmental groups and citizens who filed an appeal after his agency approved a Clean Water Act certification for the MVP project.

In a two-paragraph letter, dated May 10, Caperton did not state a reason for his denial. The DEP did not publicly announce that decision, and agency spokesman Jake Glance did not respond to a request for an explanation or comment on Caperton’s decision.

The natural gas pipeline would run about 300 miles, from Northwestern West Virginia to Southern Virginia. It is a joint project of EQT Midstream Partners LP, Next-Era US Gas Assets LLC, WGL Midstream and Vega Midstream MVP LLC.

According to the DEP, the pipeline originates in Wetzel County and goes though Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Fayette, Summers and Monroe counties before entering Virginia.

The permit in question is a certification under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act that the pipeline activity will not violate the state’s water quality standards or stream designated uses.

In appealing the DEP’s approval to Caperton, citizens and organizations said the agency did not have enough information to draw such a conclusion.

“With the MVP proposing to cross streams more than 600 times in West Virginia alone, it’s startling the bar was set so low on information required from the applicant,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, one of the groups that filed the 4th Circuit petition. “Especially for a project of this magnitude, we expect a lot more detail. Without the complete information and analysis, there’s no way that West Virginians can be assured their rivers and streams won’t pay a price.”

Unlike many other permitting decisions, an appeal of a DEP 401 certification does not go to a board like the state Environmental Quality Board, but to the agency secretary. Under the DEP’s own rules, the secretary has discretion on whether to even hold a hearing on such an appeal.

When it initially approved the pipeline’s 401 certification, the DEP issued a news release about the action and pointed members of the news media to the MVP developer’s website for “information about the potential economic benefit” of the project.

Groups filing the appeal of Caperton’s decision with the 4th Circuit include the Sierra Club, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. The groups are represented by attorneys with Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

“This pipeline threatens to do irreparable harm to Appalachia’s treasured streams and forested hillsides, and it is crucial that the state thoroughly examine these impacts rather than rubber-stamping a project that is bad for our communities and the environment,” said Deb Self, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign.

“State environmental regulators need to start taking their duties seriously,” said Peter Anderson, a program manager for Appalachian Voices. “They must rigorously analyze impacts on water, soil and forests, rather than taking the industry view that the permitting process is an annoying bump in the road. These agencies are public health institutions at their heart, so they should act like it.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

VA DEQ on MVP June 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm

From: Virginia DEQ, June 27, 2017

Public Notice – Mountain Valley Pipeline – Additional 401 Water Quality Conditions

PURPOSE OF NOTICE: To seek public comment and announce public hearings on a draft Section 401 Certification for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline project that would establish additional conditions for activities in upland areas that are located near state waters and that may indirectly affect state water along the route of the proposed pipeline.

The conditions address, among other things, engineering and best management practices for steep slopes and slide prone areas; environmental monitoring and inspections; and development and implementation of plans and procedures for karst mitigation, spill prevention control, water quality monitoring, protection of riparian buffers, protection of water quality from acid forming materials, protection of public water supplies, hydrostatic testing, and dust control activities.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: July 3, 2017 to August 22, 2017.

PUBLIC HEARINGS: 1) Radford University, Preston/Bondurant Auditorium, 801 East Main Street, Radford, VA 24142 on August 8, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Park only in Lot A (adjacent to Auditorium), or Lots E and U (University Drive bridge access to Auditorium). 2) Chatham High School Auditorium, 100 Cavalier Circle, Chatham, Virginia 24531 on August 9, 2017 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Park only in designated areas on school property.

PURPOSE OF HEARINGS: To obtain input from the public related to the draft Section 401 Certification conditions for activities in upland areas that are located near state waters and that may indirectly affect state waters along the route of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline project.

PROJECT PROPONENT’S NAME: Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: For project information and location, please see:

Proposed interstate natural gas transmission pipeline, Mountain Valley Pipeline, approximately 106 miles through the Virginia Counties of Pittsylvania, Franklin, Roanoke, Montgomery, Craig, and Giles, including activities such as but not limited to installation of best management practices; survey and staking; clearing, mowing, grubbing, and grading; trenching and/or blasting; pipe assembly (including stringing, bending, welding, testing, coating, and lowering-in); backfilling; construction of new access roads; final grading; right-of-way cleanup and restoration; and compliance monitoring. DEQ’s preliminary decision is to recommend issuance of a Section 401 Certification with conditions. After close of the public comment period, DEQ will review comments received and present recommendations to the State Water Control Board for its consideration at a future meeting.

HOW TO COMMENT: The Board accepts written comments by hand-delivery, e-mail, or postal mail. All comments must be in writing and be received by DEQ during the comment period. The Board also accepts written and oral comments at public hearings. Instructions for making oral comments will be provided at the public hearings. An allotment of three minutes is typical for each oral comment, but the time allowed is set by the hearing officers at the hearings.

To make a written comment, the person commenting must include: 1) The names, mailing addresses and telephone numbers of the person commenting and of all people represented by that person. 2) A brief, informal statement on how the proposal affects the person or people.

SUBMIT COMMENTS VIA: hand-delivery to DEQ, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219; postal mail to DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218; e-mail to:

CONTACT ONLY FOR DOCUMENT REQUESTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Brenda Winn, Office of Wetlands & Stream Protection,, (804) 698-4516, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218.


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