Bent Mountain residents continue calls for pipeline work to halt

Published: Jul. 13, 2018 at 6:50 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Work has resumed on the Mountain Valley Pipeline on Bent Mountain.

So have calls from pipeline opponents to halt work out of concern for their drinking water.

"We believe that if they were attending to the true letter of the law, this pipeline would not be built," said Roberta Bondurant.

Bondurant is among group of Bent Mountain land owners monitoring pipeline construction daily.

They're growing concerned that the pipe is laying in water that feeds directly into their wells.

They worry a spill or materials from the pipe itself could contaminate the water.

"If those water sources are damaged, which they are certain to be, we could lose our well water," said another neighbor, Robin Austin.

Bondurant and others are asking state officials to stop work again while more research is done. They also believe the state permit allowing pipeline construction is too generic for the project.

"They need to stop this work while they're considering public comment," said Bondurant. "We need to bring this message to the water control board."

Bondurant said she believes her full concerns are not being delivered to state officials.

Her frustrations are mounting.

"This matters, it matters now and an everyday citizen can make a difference here," he said. "We have to insist the board pay attention."

We reached out to pipeline communication officials asking if they knew of the homeowners' concerns.

We also asked what M-V-P has and is doing to allay those concerns.

A representative wrote to us in an email:

"The MVP project and each of its related construction plans have been reviewed and approved by both state and federal agencies.

Since inception of the project, the MVP project team remains committed to constructing the pipeline safely and responsibly."

This comes just a few days after MVP was delivered citations from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

According to the DEQ, Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC is accused of violating Virginia's Stormwater Management Act and laws related to erosion and sediment control.

In a news release the DEQ said the MVP violations revolve around "failure to take corrective actions within required time frames, failure to install (and improperly installed) best management practices in accordance with approved erosion and sediment control plans, release of sediment off the right-of-way, and sediment deposited in surface waters."