Pipeline opponents say erosion controls are inadequate

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) — Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline say sediment and erosion controls approved by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality are not protecting water and endangered species.

During a Roanoke news conference Tuesday afternoon, they cited conditions near Yellow Finch Lane in Montgomery County. They said citizen monitors documented problems there in the days after the DEQ approved the controls.

"This kind of a project cannot be built without causing both acute and chronic long-term harm to our water resources," said pipeline opponent Tammy Belinsky.

A spokesperson for the pipeline said MVP has worked diligently to ensure safe and responsible construction. And she said the most effective remedy is to complete the project and restore the right-of-way.

Following is the company's complete statement:

"Work on the MVP project is approximately 90 percent complete, including the installation of approximately 260 miles of pipeline. The MVP project team has worked diligently with the appropriate state and federal agencies to ensure the safe and responsible construction of this important project, and we remain committed to finishing the remaining work so that the project can enter service next year.

The most effective and permanent remedy for preventing erosion and sediment control issues is to complete installation of the pipeline and fully revegetate and restore the pipeline right-of-way."

The state is accepting written comments on a proposed consent decree with Mountain Valley Pipeline until Wednesday November 27.

The following notice is posted on the Virginia Register of Regulations website:

"The Commonwealth of Virginia is proposing to enter into a judicial consent decree with Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC to settle certain alleged violations of the Commonwealth's environmental laws and regulations related to construction activities in Craig, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pittsylvania and Roanoke Counties, Virginia (Case No. CL18006874-00 in Henrico County Circuit Court).

The proposed consent decree is available at www.deq.virginia.gov or by submitting a request for the document to mountainvalleypipeline@deq.virginia.gov.

Written comments will be accepted from October 28, 2019, through November 27, 2019, and should be submitted to mountainvalleypipeline@deq.virginia.gov or by postal mail to Room 2253-A, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, Virginia 23218, or hand-delivery by close of business to Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 East Main Street, Suite 1400, Richmond, Virginia 23219."

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