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Video: Ralph Northam Promises Focus Groups to “Put Our Heads Together” on Proposed Pipelines. OK, but…

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In the following video (nice work by Cville Rising this morning), it’s good to hear that Ralph Northam is willing to sit down with Virginians opposed to Dominion’s proposed fracked-gas pipelines (Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley), but…you knew there was going to be a “but,” huh? 😉 Well, yeah, there’s “but,” and it’s that, although Northam’s correct that this is an interstate project, the fact is – as the Southern Environmental Law Center, Virginia Conservation Network, Shenandoah Valley Network and many other environmental groups (including two groups – the Virginia LCV and Virginia Sierra Club – which have endorsed Northam) explain in this June 29, 2017 letter – “Virginia has broad authority to conduct its own analysis under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act,” and the state should “use the full scope of its authority to assess the impacts” of these pipelines before even thinking about signing off. “Specifically, we request that [the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality – DEQ] require individual 401 certification review for wetland and stream crossings, rather than relying on the Army Corps of Engineers,” and also demand “all information necessary for DEQ review” from the pipeline developers. Topics for discussion in the “focus groups” Ralph Northam’s promised, I’d say…

P.S. See full letter from enviro groups below the video.