Home Dominion Power Video: Virginia State Water Control Board Issues – “But Not Effective” Yet...

Video: Virginia State Water Control Board Issues – “But Not Effective” Yet – Section 401 Approval for Atlantic Coast Pipeline


See below for some tweets, Facebook updates (by Appalachian Voices) and video of where we’re at right now in this farce of a process for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. I’m not optimistic about the final outcome, given that the “fix” has been in the whole time on this, but we’ll see…

Former Virginia Sierra Club director Glen Besa: “Hayes motion passed 4-3 with with Roberta, Nissa and Wayland voting NO. But board is discussing what it means. “Issued but not effective” what ever that means. Adopted today according to Hayes. Much confusion. Bottom line is SWCB is issuing the 401 – would appear to be a 4-3 loss.”

Appalachian Voices (1:50 pm): “Voting now. Approved 4 to 3”

Appalachian Voices: “Just found out board had been on a twenty minute break…Unsure what all crowd was discussing. I think getting clarification on the proposal that was approved and if anything better can be done (and get a majority vote)”

Chairman calls a recess as state troopers move in front of the board pic.twitter.com/SXsHDi2YuH

  • From Oil Change International:

    VA State Water Control Board Delays the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Oil Change International response

    Today, the Virginia State Water Control Board voted 4-3 to defer the Section 401 water quality certification for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. In response, Lorne Stockman, Senior Research Analyst with Oil Change International and Virginia resident, released the following statement:

    “After a complete failure last week in approving the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s certificate, Virginia’s State Water Control Board (SWCB) has delayed certification of the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline until studies of sedimentation, karst and erosion issues are completed. This rightly acknowledges the danger to Virginia’s water the project poses, but fails to clearly address those threats. While this is most definitely not what Dominion wanted and gives opponents of the pipeline more time to push for rejection, the SWCB should have rejected the certificate outright.

    “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has seen massive opposition along its entire route. As was seen at the hearing today, those opponents are not going to rest easy until these pipelines are rejected outright. Indeed, just as they encircled the state Capitol in early December, Governor McAuliffe can safely assume he will be hearing loudly from Virginians opposed to this pipeline through the very day he leaves the Governor’s mansion. And when this pipeline hits Governor-elect Northam’s desk, you can be sure the opposition will be right there too. Governor-elect Northam should break free from Dominion’s grasp and protect Virginians by stopping the Atlantic Coast Pipeline as soon as he has the chance.

    “This delay puts serious obstacles before Dominion and Duke and creates an opening for the pipeline to be rejected once and for all. The project still lacks a water certificate in North Carolina, where landowner and activist opposition continues, urging Governor Cooper to take up the mantle of climate leadership that Governor McAuliffe has abandoned.

    “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, is a boondoggle that imperils our climate and communities. It must not be built. The Water Board has given itself an important opportunity to complete its work the right way by finalizing a complete rejection of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and doing the same for the Mountain Valley Pipeline as well.”

  • From CCAN:

    Virginia Water Control Board Vote Today: Dominion CANNOT Build Controversial Pipeline in VA Without More Study

    Last-minute Delay of Permit Seen as Positive Step by Landowners and Environmentalists in Fight Over Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline for Fracked Gas

    More Information Needed, Board Says. Decision is a Rebuke of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Unwavering Support for the Controversial Pipeline; CCAN Looks to Governor-elect Northam’s Administration to Protect Virginia’s Waters

    Summary: Bowing to unprecedented opposition from landowners and environmentalists, the Virginia State Water Control Board today threw a wrench in the plans of Governor Terry McAuliffe and Dominion Energy to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for fracked gas. The board voted 4-3 to approve the project under section 401 of the Clean Water Act, but dependent on a final review of several environmental studies. The vote delays Dominion’s plan to begin near-term construction of the 600-mile pipeline. The decision likely means this issue will be delayed into 2018 and into the administration of Governor-elect Ralph Northam, who has taken a less openly supportive stance on the pipeline due to environmental concerns.

    Statement from Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network:

    “In a setback for notorious polluter Dominion Energy, the Virginia State Water Control Board today sided with landowners and environmentalists in calling for more rigorous and comprehensive review of the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. After being ignored for years by Governor Terry McAuliffe and Dominion, the voices of everyday Virginians were finally heard and we will work tirelessly to make sure all the facts can come to the table. CCAN and our allies have argued all along that any science-based and transparent review of all the harmful impacts of the ACP can only result in official and final denial of Dominion’s radical pipeline for fracked gas.

    “Now Virginians are counting on the Administration of Governor-elect Ralph Northam to do what the McAuliffe Administration failed to do: let science and the law guide decision-making on the pipeline.”


    The Board bucked enormous pressure from Governor McAuliffe’s Administration, which was pressuring Board members to approve the pipeline without undergoing the in-depth analysis that a project at this scale requires. The Board voted to delay certification for the pipeline until after the Governor’s Department of Environmental Quality can review and give final approval to erosion and sediment control plans, stormwater management plans, and studies of sensitive karst terrain. While an outright denial of the project was warranted, the Board’s decision delays the project.

    Unfortunately, the same Board approved the equally controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline for fracked gas last week. CCAN and three other groups immediately filed a lawsuit against that decision. Our hope is that today’s ACP delay could bring a similar regulatory delay to the MVP process, but there is uncertainty on this front.

    Thousands of Virginians have mobilized over the past three years to stand against the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. See fact sheet here. Over 17,000 community members submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against the MVP during the public comment period, and over 21,000 submitted comments to FERC about the ACP. Additionally, over 53,000 people nationwide — including thousands of Virginians — have signed on to a Change.org petition calling on Governor McAuliffe to reject the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. Activists have garnered opposition from all walks of life, from faith leaders to military veterans and more. The mobilization against the pipelines has also included civil disobedience, with 23 Virginians getting arrested outside the Governor’s mansion in 2016 and 19 arrested for barring the entrance to the Department of Environmental Quality office in Richmond this September.