For those who have been following the progress of two natural gas pipelines, all eyes are on Richmond this week, where members of a citizen board could determine the future of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Both pipelines have the green light from federal regulators, but before construction can begin they need approval from the State Water Control Board. That’s a seven member board, appointed by the Governor.
They’ll decide if the pipelines can be built without harming Virginia’s waterways.
“Is there reasonable assurance that through this process and this additional certification that quater quality standards will not be violated and water quality will be protected,” explains Ann Regn with the Department of Environmental Quality.
Board members will vote on the Mountain Valley Pipeline this Thursday and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline the following week.
Before each vote, they’ll take public comment and then hear a recommendation from Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality. Regn is spokeswoman for that agency. She says they’ve spent two years reviewing concerns and developing conditions for the water certificates.
Regn says it’s unlikely the agency will suggest its own list of requirements is inadequate.
DEQ also has to approve plans for how the energy companies will manage soil erosion before construction can begin. Those permits are not voted on by a public board though.
You can learn more about the meetings and agenda here.