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Pipeline opponents to rally in Richmond ahead of key hearing

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 10:37 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Next week, the State Water Control Board will consider a key stream-crossing permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Saturday, opponents from across the state plan to rally in Richmond.

Emily Satterwhite prepared for Saturday’s ‘Violation Vigil’ with a trip to Sinking Creek in Giles County. It’s a location where muddy runoff from Mountain Valley Pipeline construction reached the waterway in September 2018. She has “adopted’ violation #102 for Saturday’s event which will highlight hundreds more.

“The 300 violations that have already occurred, occurred largely during what they call upland work before they even touched the water crossing,” Satterwhite told WDBJ7.

The seven-member State Water Control Board meets in Richmond Tuesday to consider a key permit MVP needs to cross more than 200 streams and wetlands in the Commonwealth.

Opponents argue the previous violations are proof MVP cannot do it safely.

“They have the legal authority and obligation to deny these water crossing permits,” Satterwhite said.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline says crews have successfully completed multiple crossings using open-cut and trenchless crossing methods. In videos posted on the project’s website, and in a written statement from spokesperson Natalie Cox, MVP said completing construction and fully restoring the remainder of the right-of-way is the best outcome for the environment, affected landowners, and communities along the route.

Meanwhile, pipeline opponents from across the state are expected in Richmond Saturday.

Satterwhite and Roanoke Delegate Sam Rasoul are among the speakers.

“We’ve got to do a better job of protecting our natural resources and make sure our resources are really working for us,” Rasoul said in an interview Friday.

And opponents say they have reason for optimism, after the State Air Pollution Control Board denied a permit for a pipeline compressor station in Pittsylvania County just last week.

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