(RICHMOND, VA)—The Virginia State Water Control Board yesterday voted to continue with status quo water quality protections for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline. Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Attorney and Virginia Assistant Director Peggy Sanner released the following statement.
"We are disappointed that the Water Control Board rejected an important opportunity to stand up for clean water in Virginia. This decision is a major blow to protecting our rivers and streams from threats from these pipelines.
"In just the first few months of construction, the Mountain Valley Pipeline has polluted rivers and streams with sediment, triggered mudslides, and put drinking water sources at risk. The Board's action will not prevent this damage from occurring on an even larger scale if construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline ramps up. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cross Virginia waterways nearly 1,000 times, polluting waters from the mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.
"It is notable that Board members acknowledged that so far the process on the ground has not been sufficient to keep pollution out of our waters. But the Board's failure to take more meaningful action is disappointing.
"This fall our petition challenging the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's water quality certification comes before the Court. Substantial evidence has been submitted demonstrating that the current certification for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is simply inadequate to protect scores of streams and rivers from pollution."