The following is a letter to Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe asking that he direct the Department of Environmental Quality to take steps to obtain site-specific erosion and sediment control and stormwater management plans for the ACP and make them available to citizens and local governments. As it stands now, the DEQ doesn’t plan to request these critical plans and Dominion doesn’t plan to provide them.
May 21, 2015
TO: Governor Terry McAuliffe
CC: Secretary of Natural Resources, Molly Ward
RE: Atlantic Coast Pipeline
I am writing on behalf of the Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition requesting that you direct the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to take the necessary steps to provide unrestricted public access to critical environmental information concerning the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Specifically, we are requesting that the DEQ obtain site-specific erosion and sediment control and stormwater management plans prior to issuing any approvals or accepting any permit submissions for the ACP. And we request that the DEQ make these plans available to local governments and the public.
Our understanding, following a meeting with DEQ officials, is that the DEQ has the authority to require site-specific plans for the ACP project, but that it will not do so due to a lack of staff resources to review such plans. Dominion spokesman, Jim Norvelle, has also stated that the DEQ will not require submission of these plans. The result is that state and local government officials and the public will not have the opportunity to review these plans for regulatory compliance prior to project authorization and construction.
You will remember your promise that the ACP will be the most environmentally responsible pipeline project in the history of the United States.
This is a promise that will not be fulfilled if the environmental review process is conducted without complete transparency and the involvement of all Virginia stakeholders. This is a promise that will not be fulfilled if we simply leave everything to FERC and Dominion.
There can be no rationale for denying Virginia citizens and local governments timely access to critical environmental information related to compliance with Virginia laws and regulations.
Currently, Virginia’s DEQ, local governments, and citizens have access to site-specific erosion and sediment control and stormwater management plans for other construction projects. Why not for the ACP?
Given the unprecedented scale of the proposed ACP, given the environmental risks involved, and given your promise to the citizens of the commonwealth, there is no reason to exempt the ACP from meaningful public oversight.
We look forward to your positive response.
Rick Webb, Coordinator
Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition
481 Ravens Run Road
Monterey, Virginia 24465
Note: see sidebar material, including notes for a recent meeting between DPMC representatives and DEQ officials, and coverage of the issues in Highland County’s Recorder.