Opponents of two controversial natural gas pipeline projects are praising a decision by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
The DEQ says it will require the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to provide more information on how they will protect water quality at locations where the projects cross streams and wetlands.
"This is very favorable," said Dan Crawford, Chair of the Sierra Club's Roanoke Group. "This is exactly what a lot of people need to hear to be assured that the state of Virginia is going to step up to the plate and do a good job. If they do a good job, this project will never happen."
The Mountain Valley Pipeline says it's committed to protecting the environment. And the company says it is looking forward to working with the state to meet water quality requirements.
The company provided the following statement Friday afternoon:
"Since the onset of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project, one of our primary objectives has been to design a route with the least overall impact to landowners and communities; and to preserve and protect sensitive species, historical resources, and the environment, including streams and wetlands. In doing so, MVP has worked closely with state and federal environmental agencies to provide accurate, comprehensive information that would allow for a thorough environmental review of the project. In late March, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) issued its 401 permit for the MVP project, which we believe was a reflection of MVP team members and WVDEP staff working diligently to develop comprehensive plans for constructing the pipeline with the least possible impact on streams and wetlands in West Virginia. In similar fashion, we look forward to working with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to obtain and meet Virginia's water quality certification requirements along with those of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' nationwide permit 12 for wetland and stream crossings."