Guidance for Monitoring Water Supplies

The Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) has released a report for landowners and water providers concerned about the potential impacts of pipeline development on water supplies:
water_supply_monitoring
Guidance for Monitoring Effects of Gas Pipeline Development on Surface Water and Groundwater Supplies

The report was prepared by Downstream Strategies, a West Virginia-based environmental consulting firm. Funding was provided by ABRA member groups and individual contributors.

Although the developers of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) indicate that they will monitor the quality and quantity of water supply springs and wells, the information they have provided about monitoring plans and acceptance of responsibility for water supply damage is incomplete.

The new report provides information concerning:

  • Risks, potential impacts, and other water supply issues related to pipeline development;
  • Collection of the data that will be needed to hold pipeline developers responsible for harm to water supplies;
  • Methods for establishing baseline information on water quantity and quality and for long-term monitoring to detect change; and
  • Laboratories and consultants that can conduct monitoring and analysis.

For landowners, the guide describes a tiered approach to water supply monitoring that incorporates collection of defensible data by water resource professionals and landowner collection of screening or early-detection data.

For water providers, a primary benefit of the guide is to document likely contaminants and the potential impacts to source water from pipeline development that may affect their treatment processes or finished (post-treatment) drinking water distributed to customers.

Although some of the information in this report is specific to the MVP and ACP pipelines, the guidelines for monitoring water resources is applicable to any landowners and water providers who may be impacted by pipeline development.