Pipeline opponents prepare for State Water Control Board hearing in Richmond

Published: Nov. 30, 2017 at 7:53 PM EST
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Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline are still fighting the controversial project.

And meetings next week in the Richmond area could play a major role in determining if construction of the 42-inch natural gas pipeline moves forward.

"We feel like it's a watershed moment," said pipeline opponent Roberta Bondurant.

Landowners and activists on Bent Mountain have done their best to block pipeline survey crews, and protest a project they say will cause irreparable harm to an environmentally sensitive area.

And they are taking their concerns to Richmond on Wednesday.

"I think it would be foolish and disrespectful of our Governors, our DEQ staff, and our water control board to permit this project," Bondurant said, "and we won't tolerate it."

Bent Mountain Landowner Kathy Chandler says the wetlands, creeks and streams in the Bent Mountain and Poor Mountain Area drain into the Roanoke Valley.

Problems there, opponents argue, are problems for everyone downstream.

"This goes beyond sentiment and emotional attachment to private property although I feel extremely strong about that...," Chandler told WDBJ7 Thursday morning. "But this has another dimension that serves a larger population. And we cannot afford to ignore the impact of clean drinking water for the Roanoke Valley."

We did not receive a response from Mountain Valley Pipeline Thursday afternoon, but in the past the company has defended its environmental review, and said it will implement stringent controls to mitigate any environmental impacts.

Opponents have a rally scheduled on Saturday at the State Capitol. And they plan to turn out in force when the State Water Control Board meets on Wednesday.