The organizations and experts working with the DPMC have persistently expressed doubts that a project on the scale of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, constructed across the steep Appalachian mountains, can be built without significant long-term harm to the region’s high-quality streams, wetlands, and groundwater resources.
Although Dominion and its supporters have claimed that the project will be built “above and beyond” environmental requirements, the public has yet to see the site-specific plans that are needed for actual analysis.
For years we have sought access to erosion and sediment control and stormwater management plans for project. Although the DEQ has now seemingly committed to obtaining those plans, it is still not clear if the plans will be site specific or generalized or if the public will have a meaningful opportunity to review and provide input prior to project approval.
If the DEQ adopts FERC’s approach to environmental review, it will approve the project contingent upon later submission of acceptable plans, well after the public has an opportunity to review and comment.
Now we learn that the DEQ has entered into a 2-million-dollar contract with an environmental consulting company to review Dominion’s plans when they are finally submitted. The contract, though not the contractor, was announced on the DEQ’s Water Protection for Pipelines website.
And following a pattern that is becoming familiar, we further learn that the contractor, EEE Consulting, Inc., is also working directly for Dominion on other projects. Moreover, Dominion was given the “opportunity” to review and comment on the consulting company’s proposal before it was issued.