DEQ State Water Control Board listens to public comment on potential new Mountain Valley Pipeline permit

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 10:22 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Monday night, the Department of Environmental Quality’s State Water Control Board allowed the community to weigh in on a new permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Specifically, it would allow the Mountain Valley Pipeline team to operate in streams and wetlands in southwest Virginia, as they work toward the completion of the project. Many in support of and against the permit came out to have their voices heard.

Construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline began in 2018 following years of project and permit approvals. As construction has continued over the years, the majority of the project has been completed.

The majority of those who spoke Monday night were in favor of the permit and the project as a whole, including Ninth District Delegate Charles Poindexter. A construction worker on the project echoed the benefits the completion of the project will have on the Roanoke Valley.

“The Roanoke Valley is gonna have a huge supply of gas, which they’ve struggled with having a supply of gas that large, and they’ll have a tap right there outside of Salem and that will be beneficial to businesses, industry,” said Jeremy Peters, who has worked on the project four times in the last four years.

But not everyone at the meeting supported the potential new permit.

“It seems that the board and the DEQ want to drag everyone through the same process all over again and make promises that they can’t follow up on and issue water quality certifications that they don’t plan on enforcing,” said Joshua Vana, co-director of Artivism Virginia. Joshua Vana

Some against the permit say the DEQ has ignored violations and is failing to protect Virginia waterways. The Water Control Board will continue its public comment session Tuesday in Radford at 6 p.m.

The board will take public comment into consideration until the end of October, and plans on making a decision on the permit in mid-December.

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