Last Regulatory Hurdle For Pipelines

Dec 5, 2017

Hearings by Virginia’s Water Control Board begin this week in Richmond on two proposed natural gas pipelines for Virginia.   

After a three year process, The Mountain Valley and the Atlantic Coast pipelines have passed all their major approvals, except one. The final hearings will determine whether their construction would meet water quality standards under the Federal Clean Water Act. 

Route maps for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (top) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (bottom)

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline are heading to Richmond to speak before the board Wednesday.  

Rick Shingles, a former professor of Political Science, is active in the group called, “Preserve Giles,”one of the counties through which the 42 inch pipeline would run. He says the public comment process on the project has defied everything he once taught in class about how government is supposed to work.

"That’s one of the reasons why we’re all so motivated because we’re so insulted and infuriated of dotting the i's and crossing the t's to make it look like the public had input when it doesn’t,” Shingles said.

Despite that, he says, his group will be at the Trinity Family Life Church in northwest Richmond this Wednesday before 7 am.  They’ll line up to get tickets for the opportunity to speak for 3 minutes before the seven member citizens board. The comment period will last one day, followed by a closed-door session by the board. 

A Public Hearing on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline later this month is expected to follow the same format.