ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) A coalition of groups that oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline are asking a court to reject an agreement between the pipeline company and the Virginia Attorney General's Office.
Wednesday was the deadline for public comment on the the agreement that was negotiated to settle alleged violations of environmental laws.
Members of the POWHR coalition said the agreement ignores almost a year of violations, lacks adequate safeguards and fails to mitigate the damage effectively.
"What we would like to see is for the court to hear directly from impacted folks along the route and reject this agreement," said POWHR Co-Chair Russell Chisholm,"because we don't believe they have all of the information that should be considered."
"In its leniency, lack of transparency and lack of accountability, the Attorney General’s proposed agreement with MVP is little more than a ‘pay to pollute’ scheme," said POWHR Co-Chair Roberta Bondurant, "which broadcasts to out-of-state extraction interests that the Commonwealth is open for business to anyone who can pre-pay their crimes."
A spokesperson for MVP issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
"Mountain Valley has worked diligently to address all of the issues raised by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality through Notices of Violation (NOVs), most of which were the result of the record rainfall during 2018 in the project area."
"MVP appreciates the oversight of the VA DEQ, and the MVP team will continue to work closely with project inspectors to maintain its high standards of safety and environmental stewardship. Work on the MVP project is approximately 90 percent complete, including the installation of approximately 260 miles of pipeline. The MVP project team has worked collaboratively with the appropriate state and federal agencies to ensure the safe and responsible construction of this important project, and we remain committed to finishing the remaining work so that the project can enter service next year. The most effective and permanent remedy for preventing erosion and sediment control issues is to complete installation of the pipeline and fully revegetate and restore the pipeline right-of-way."
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