Ready to write letters right now?
If you haven’t already heard the news, Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced that it plans to give up most of its power to ensure streams and water supplies are protected from impacts of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Instead, they say they will rely on a nationwide ‘blanket’ permit from the federal Army Corps of Engineers.
As our local leaders fight to make sure the pipeline doesn’t harm public and private water supplies, it is devastating to learn that the state decided to rely on a federal rubber stamp. We hope they will reconsider.
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 has a responsibility to Virginia’s citizens to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to perform a robust and site-specific review of waterbodies and wetlands crossed by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to protect our drinking water supplies, streams, rivers, and wetlands. Encourage your legislators to speak out publicly and implore the State Water Control Board to make sure DEQ does the right thing. We’ve created a web form for you to use to contact your Senator and your Delegate and the State Water Control Board via email, or if you’d rather, find phone numbers and mailing addresses here.