Virginia Del. Sam Rasoul speaking a bit earlier this afternoon (see transcript below the video; bolding added by me for emphasis) about how it’s time to stop construction on the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines while the 11,000 (!) comments already submitted to the state Water Control Board are “immediately considered.” I couldn’t agree more with Del. Rasoul on that, as well as on his statement that “we need DEQ to do their job, get out of the way, and let the State Water Control Board meet as soon as possible.”
Good afternoon everyone…ready to stop this pipeline? It is clear that there’s already damage occurring; you all have documented it and there are over 11,000 comments have been submitted per the request of the State Water Control Board. So much to the surprise of the administration and DEQ, the State Water Control Board said hey, our job is to protect water, so why don’t we consider protecting water? Why don’t we consider a stream-by-stream analysis? And we applaud the state Water Control Board for taking that brave action and opening up this comment period.
Unfortunately what happened is, mysteriously, the website went down for a couple weeks. Well, it went down and in this wonderful age of technology, it stayed down for two and a half weeks. Well now we are demanding that these comments be immediately considered. And it is clear from the words of [DEQ head] David Paylor, there are 11,000 comments that need to be carefully considered. That is enough to be able to halt work now. [Applause]
Between these two projects, there are over 1,100 bodies of water that are gonna be impacted. And it should be clear to everyone involved that that is enough for us to carefully consider, should a stream-by-stream analysis be done, should we immediately stop construction…
Many of you have seen there’s this piece about the $84 billion treasure that Appalachia holds, and that’s just natural gas coming through. And they are in a rush to export this natural gas as fast as possible, and they could care less about what’s going to happen to our water. We think it’s very clear what needs to happen. The State Water Control Board has asked that we consider stream-by-stream analysis. They have 11,000 comments. And so we need DEQ to do their job, get out of the way, and let the State Water Control Board meet as soon as possible. So we humbly ask for the state Water Control Board, these citizen volunteers to this board, to please call a meeting as soon as possible and consider all actions necessary to stop the construction of this pipeline while we carefully figure out what’s going to happen to our water sources.