Home Energy and Environment Letter From Virginia Delegates, Senators Urges Gov. Northam to Order Stop to...

Letter From Virginia Delegates, Senators Urges Gov. Northam to Order Stop to Pipeline Construction, Stream-by-Stream Analysis

3108
6

The following letter just went out to Gov. Northam from Virginia Delegates Mark Keam, Ken Plum, Alfonso Lopez, Patrick Hope, Mark Levine, Kaye Kory, Chris Hurst, Sam Rasoul, Lee Carter, Elizabeth Guzman, Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Danica Roem; also State Senators Chap Petersen and Creigh Deeds. The key points are that:

1) “two of the largest energy infrastructure projects currently proposed in Virginia would continue the destructive paths of generating and consuming more fossil fuel products, while doing little to create good-paying permanent job”;

2) Gov. Northam’s “clear and bold leadership on pipelines at this critical time can restore the faith that many of our constituents have lost in their governments’ ability to fight for the public’s interest, at a time when that faith is so desperately needed”;

3) the pipelines so far have been “allowed to go forward with little scrutiny by our state government”;

4) Virginia has been “relying on the Nationwide Permit 12 issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for stream crossings, rather than on the legal authority that the Commonwealth clearly maintains to review these projects using state water quality standards under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act”;

5) that is not appropriate for pipelines “proposed to cross rivers, streams, and wetlands more than 1,000 times, including over some of the most pristine rivers and streams in Virginia”;

6) that Gov. Northam should “direct the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to revoke and decertify the 401 certifications for both upland areas and for the Nationwide Permit 12, which would trigger a comprehensive stream-by-stream analysis under Clean Water Act Section 401”; and

7) that Gov. Northam should “direct the DEQ to stop work on all construction activities for these two projects until those analyses are complete.”

We’ll see if there’s any more response to this letter than to previous letters, press conferences, protests, etc. Personally, I’m not holding my breath, but still…thanks to everyone who signed this letter and, more broadly, for at least trying to protect Virginia from these disastrous pipeline projects.