Activities Continue with Major Concerns over the ACP & MVP

by Duane Nichols on July 9, 2017

People Over Pipelines

“Stop The Pipelines Action Camp”

We have a Report from Erin McKelvy. Erin is a resident of the Blacksburg VA area and an affiliate of Blue Ridge Rapid Response Project (or BRRRP) and is helping to organize the “Stop The Pipelines Action Camp” in that area from July 13-17th, 2017. The action camp is being organized in hopes to spread resistance to the Mountain Valley & Atlantic Coast Pipelines that are traversing Appalachian West Virginia, Virginia and, in the MVP’s case, North Carolina. We talk about what it is to live in a place and defend your home, to get to know your neighbors, to build the skills needed to resist ecocidal, capitalist infrastructure projects.

More info at or contact

The event is being co-sponsored by Smokey Mountain Eco-Defense (SMED).

New industry sponsored pipeline security is being pursued by mercenary groups like “TigerSwan” as well as industry-sponsored astro-turf (or fake grassroots) group “YourEnergy” meant to muddy the water of community resistance to pipeline expansion and other infrastructural projects.


Virginia DEQ Programs: Water Protection for Pipelines, June 1, 2017

Due to the size and scope of proposed natural gas pipeline projects in Virginia, DEQ is developing additional requirements to ensure that Virginia water quality standards are maintained in all areas affected by the construction of these pipelines.

VA-DEQ will require Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to provide detailed plans to assess whether construction activities in adjacent areas will adversely affect water quality during construction and to ensure that water quality is maintained into the future. This additional certification goes well beyond other regulatory requirements and will protect water quality across the range of pipeline activities, not just temporary construction impacts to streams and wetlands.

The types of additional information developers must provide relate to environmental concerns such as karst geologic features, steep slopes, public water supplies and areas prone to rockslides. See main article sidebar, Request for Information (RFI) for ACP and MVP.

Once VA-DEQ has evaluated this information, it will develop additional water quality conditions and will give the public an opportunity to review and comment on these certification conditions. VA-DEQ also will hold public hearings on the draft certifications. Once the comment period has concluded, VA-DEQ will prepare a report and recommendations on the certification conditions for the State Water Control Board’s consideration.

VA-DEQ will hold three public hearings for Atlantic Coast Pipeline and two for Mountain Valley Pipeline.

In summary, five regulatory and review tools provide comprehensive oversight and thorough technical evaluation to ensure that Virginia’s water quality is protected.

Environmental impact review.

VA-DEQ, along with Virginia’s other natural resource agencies, submitted numerous comments and recommendations on the draft environmental impact statements published by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for these pipelines. For example, Virginia identified specific concerns in a number of stream segments crossing watersheds. Virginia recommended additional pre- and post-construction water quality monitoring, heightened erosion and sedimentation control practices, and/or pre-impact characterization of proposed stream and wetland crossings.

Stormwater, erosion and sediment control.

VA-DEQ is requiring each pipeline developer to submit detailed, project-specific erosion and sedimentation control and stormwater plans for every foot of land disturbance related to pipeline construction, including access roads and construction lay-down areas. These plans must comply with Virginia’s stormwater and erosion and sediment control regulations that are designed to protect water quality during and after construction. These plans will be reviewed by qualified professionals (either VA-DEQ staff or third-party engineers) and will be posted for public review. An engineering consulting firm will assist in VA-DEQ’s review of the erosion and stormwater plans. The cost of this work is estimated to be approximately $2.2 million.

Federal wetlands and stream regulation.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is the federal regulatory partner in permitting dredge and fill activities in wetlands and streams. The Corps’ Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 requires that water quality is protected during the construction of pipelines in wetlands and streams. The Corps will evaluate each wetland and stream crossing to see if it is consistent with the conditions of NWP 12. Because the Corps’ permit only covers construction activities that cross a wetland or stream, VA-DEQ is addressing other water quality impacts through its water certification authority. The conditions provided in NWP 12 are comprehensive and include: coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on threatened and endangered species; requirements to restore the pre-construction conditions at stream crossings using materials that mimic the natural stream bed; mitigation for all permanent loss over 1/10 acre and/or 300 linear feet of waters; a recommendation discouraging directional drilling in karst topography; a recommendation to use Virginia native species for revegetation; and extensive guidance and requirements for countersinking pipes.

Virginia water quality certification.

VA-DEQ will require water quality certification conditions for all potentially impacted water resources related to activities that may affect water quality outside the temporary construction impacts to stream and wetland crossings. These will provide reasonable assurance that water quality standards are maintained in Virginia’s streams. Once VA-DEQ has evaluated this information, it will develop additional water quality conditions and will give the public an opportunity to review and comment on these conditions. VA-DEQ also will hold public hearings on the draft conditions. Once the comment period has ended, VA-DEQ will recommend certification conditions for the State Water Control Board’s consideration.

Water quality monitoring.

VA-DEQ will conduct its own water quality monitoring of the pipeline projects to ensure water quality standards are maintained.

NOTE: See the schedule for public hearings and other information on the VA-DEQ website.

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WV RIVERS July 11, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Public Hearings Scheduled

Comments Due: August 4th (8/4/17)

You have an opportunity to comment on the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Water Quality Certification, the permit that ensures the project meets West Virginia’s water quality standards.

As proposed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would span three states — North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. In West Virginia alone the pipeline would impact approximately 400 stream segments, some streams would be crossed multiple times.

We’ve reviewed the ACP’s Water Quality Certification and found that it lacks critical information the WVDEP needs to certify that the project will be able to meet WV’s Water Quality Standards. View our fact sheet on the permit here:

Speak up for West Virginia streams! The WVDEP is hosting public hearings on the Water Quality Certification where you can submit written or oral comments:

Public hearings are scheduled for:

>>> July 31 at the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Auditorium at 6:00pm.

>>> August 1 at the Pocahontas County High School Auditorium at 6:00pm.

Can’t make it to the public hearings? We made it easy to submit comments online! Click below to comment on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s Water Quality Certification:

Comments are due August 4. For more information contact West Virginia Rivers Coalition: – (304) 637-7201


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