Virginia DEQ orders Mountain Valley Pipeline to stop some construction

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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has ordered a halt to construction on part of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

According to a press release sent by the department on August 2, a DEQ inspection carried out on Thursday, Aug. 1 found that "an imminent and substantial adverse impact to water quality is likely to occur as a result of land-disturbing activities."

The inspection was related to a section of about two miles of the project in Spread H in Montgomery County.

Inspectors found insufficient erosion and sediment controls there. The DEQ stated that Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC "has failed to construct and maintain erosion and sediment control or pollution prevention measures in accordance with approved site-specific plans and/or the erosion and sediment control measures that have been installed are not functioning effectively and MVP has not proposed any corrective action."

Until the pipeline company takes action to solve the issue and block erosion in the area, work in that area has to be suspended. Their corrective action will then have to be approved by the DEQ through field inspection and verification.

For now, they "must stop all land disturbing activities in this area including clearing, grading and trenching activities in the designated area."

Instead, crews will only be allowed to work on installing and maintaining erosion control devices in the area, as required by erosion and sediment control plans issued specifically for the site.

“We are appalled that construction priorities and deadline pressures would ever rise above the proper and appropriate use of erosion control measures,” said DEQ Director David Paylor. “DEQ will continue to monitor and inspect all ongoing work to ensure continued compliance and protection of Virginia’s natural resources.”

You can find the full stop work instruction at www.DEQ.Virginia.gov/MVP.