ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) Roberta Bondurant was armed with recent photographs of the pipeline construction on Bent Mountain Tuesday afternoon, as she and other opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline asked the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors to support their call for a stop work order.
"We appreciate all you have done," Bondurant told board members. "We ask you to follow up with the power of your pen, potentially with a visit to the Water Control Board, with phone calls and any contacts you may make."
Pipeline opponents on Bent Mountain are now focused on the area where the pipeline crosses under route 221, and now the Blue Ridge Parkway. They say the presence of ground water in the pipeline trench raised questions about the long-term integrity of pipeline construction, and the potential for contamination of their drinking water.
"And what you see here is not for the most part rain water," Bondurant told the board. "What you see is the exposure of the aquifer, and that is Roanoke County's only source of drinking water to its population atop Bent Mountain. It's water that will drain to the New River Valley, to Salem to the Roanoke Valley and beyond."
A pipeline spokesperson was out of the office Tuesday, but in a previous statement Natalie Cox said the project was subject to an exhaustive review, has met every requirement and has been authorized by state and federal agencies.
Following is the complete statement:
"The Mountain Valley Pipeline project team has worked closely with state and federal environmental agencies to provide accurate, comprehensive information that would allow for a thorough environmental review and approval of the project. The plans for this important infrastructure line were subject to an exhaustive review for more than three years – and the MVP project has satisfied every requirement and has been authorized for construction by federal and state agencies."
"Prior to construction, the MVP project team offered to conduct baseline testing of drinking water supplies within approximately 150 feet of the proposed construction right-of-way (500 feet in karst areas). The project team also has offered to do post-construction sampling in the same areas."
It's unclear if the board will ask the State Water Control Board to issue a stop work order. Members listened to residents concerns Tuesday, but they did not comment or take action on the request.