A Chance for Water Protection by Virginia’s DEQ

READ: Insist that Virginia protect its water, by Nancy Sorrells

Public comment period closed August 22, 2017.
Find sample points for your comments here. (thanks to our partners at Wild Virginia!)
Understand why DEQ’s process is flawed.

Write a letter:

  • Mail to: DEQ, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218
  • Email to: comment-acp@deq.virginia.gov

Under the Clean Water Act, Virginia has the power to grant or deny the water permits for the pipeline. These are the permits that would allow Dominion to cross streams and wetlands and to potentially impact all of the above ground and below ground waters in Virginia that are located along the pipeline route. In Augusta County alone that translates to 189 stream and 43 wetland crossings. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) makes recommendations to the State Water Control Board (SWCB) about the permits and then the State Water Control Board decides whether or not to issue these permits. (Photo courtesy of Bradley Striebig).

It is difficult to overstate the adverse impacts the ACP would have on Virginia’s water resources. The ACP would:

  • Be the single largest impact to wetlands in Virginia since the Clean Water Act was enacted
  • Cross more than 700 rivers and streams across Virginia, many of them on extremely steep slopes with highly-erodible soils
  • Require in-stream blasting and trenching in native brook trout streams
  • Cut through some of the most unstable areas of karst topography in Virginia, where large sinkholes regularly close Interstate 81
  • Put public and private water supplies at risk

DEQ will be holding a series of public hearings about this water issue. We must tell DEQ and the SWCB that we expect them to uphold their mission of protecting Virginia’s waters and the people, plants, animals, and habitats that use those waters.

Plan to attend one or all of the hearings and give your three-minutes’ worth. Insist upon the law being upheld. Bring a container of your favorite water and explain how you use that water (drinking, watering your garden, farming, manufacturing, fishing, swimming, etc.). Bring pictures of your water or watershed that is in the line of the ACP. A large turnout is important so spread the word.

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