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PROTECT OUR PRECIOUS WATER RESOURCES
Write DEQ by August 22

There are only a few days left to speak up about our valuable water resources — streams, springs, creeks and wells and help stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). Tuesday, August 22 is the deadline to send comments to our Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) asking that they do their job and deny permits to the Mountain Valley Pipeline because it would harm water quality. Click here to see a sample letter that you can send to DEQ by mail or by email to comment-mvp@deq.virginia.gov.

Protect Our Precious Water Resources - Write to DEQDEQ can stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline from being built. DEQ does not have to issue these key permits, which would give MVP permission to rip through numerous creeks, rivers and wetlands. DEQ’s published mission is to protect our precious water resources. If they really do their job, they must deny these permits and stop this devastating project from harming Craig County and our region.

Similar state agencies have stopped other 42” interstate gas pipelines from being built recently in other states because of the risk of harming their water. But they need to hear this from the public.

Preserve Craig members and legal counsel spoke at recent DEQ public hearings and submitted independent science showing how MVP will harm our water.

One of the Preserve Craig comments to DEQ at their hearing in Radford stated:
“MVP is a limited liability company, a shell company that has no employees and can disappear at its convenience. EQT, the managing partner of MVP, was caught intentionally polluting water by the Pennsylvania DEQ. EQT pleaded guilty to intentionally contaminating water… Our water quality and landscape is everything to the citizens of Craig County. Allowing a private company to take our land from us is untenable. MVP cannot mitigate these impacts and it is the DEQ’s responsibility to deny any permits to these environmental criminals.”

The director of the DEQ was asked what would happen if a water supply were damaged by MVP. He replied that you would just have to find an alternative. Well, there are no alternatives here. “Mitigation” of this devastating pipeline will not protect our precious and fragile water systems here in Craig County and our karst mountainous region.

Also, the Craig County government sent comments to the DEQ, continuing to object to the project and asking that DEQ require MVP to submit data to document how they will cross every body of water and protect us. Let’s join in and send comments before the deadline, August 22, either postmarked by August 22 or submitted by email to comment-mvp@deq.virginia.gov.

This horrendous project can and must be stopped, for the good of all the people. The MVP project would violate our Constitution and numerous laws and regulations intended to protect us, our property, and our precious clean water. We’ll need to be ready to prove in court that this is not for “the public good.”
 
 
 
Support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy efforts to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline from destroying our special region! Visit their website for an easy way to send letters to your representatives and government agencies. This is the first time the Appalachian Trail has ever opposed any project or crossing of the trail. They generally work with companies and government agencies to mitigate damage. However, they were unable to make any progress in justifying this project or reducing the harm.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is an unprecedented threat to the Appalachian Trail landscape, clean drinking water sources and local jobs in surrounding communities. By lending your voice, you are telling your representatives that we all deserve greater scrutiny for poorly planned projects like the MVP that could permanently damage surrounding economy and irreplaceable landscapes forever.
–Appalachian Trail Conservancy

 
Pipeline_ConstructionFOREST SERVICE OBJECTION FILINGS NEEDED
PRESERVE CRAIG IS ASKING YOU TO SUBMIT A SPECIFIC LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE FOREST SERVICE DRAFT RECORD OF DECISION ABOUT MVP.  WE NEED AS MANY SUBMITTED AS POSSIBLE. SEND A COPY TO PRESERVE CRAIG AT PRESERVECRAIG@GMAIL.COM. DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE LETTER AND INSTRUCTIONS. ADD ADDITIONAL OBJECTIONS AND COMMENTS AS YOU WISH.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE THIS ACTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! SUBMISSIONS REGARDING THIS OBJECTION SHOULD BE SENT TO THE FOREST SERVICE BY JULY 31, 2017.  PLEASE HELP TO PROTECT OUR WATER, FOREST AND MOUNTAINS FROM DEVESTATION BY A PRIVATE COMPANY.

As background, here’s the situation: The review and next steps toward licensing the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) were announced on June 23, 2017 by both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and “our” National Forest.

The FERC decision was not a surprise. The FERC routinely approve all gas pipelines, even though a project of this scale has never been attempted through the fragile and scenic karst of our mountains. Leading experts confirm that it will dramatically harm our water and soil resources as well as the Appalachian Trail (AT). However, the US Forest Service (FS) has changed its procedures and schedule without reasonable notice and issued a Draft Record of Decision that flies in the face of the data we all have been submitting to them for several years. It also overturns the 2002 Forest Service Record of Decision that this area is not an appropriate site for a utility corridor. Craig County has relied upon that decision for decades to build the economic plan, destination-based recreation, and support the social fiber of our community.

Your Preserve Craig leadership team continues to work diligently to preserve and protect our way of life and our beautiful mountains and resources against this and future threats. Our efforts include monthly reports to our Board of Supervisors and providing extensive scientific, regulatory and legal information to the FERC, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, our legislators, attorneys, local governments, and other organizations about the inaccuracies of the MVP submissions and risks that this project poses.

During July we will need to celebrate the founding of this great country by coming together to again communicate with our representatives and submit important objections to the various agencies involved. Please call us at 540-309-9560 or email preservecraig@gmail.com if you can help raise money, write letters, or share important information with your neighbors.

Here is a summary and links to the current status of MVP:

The US Forest Service intends to amend the Jefferson National Forest Plan to allow MVP construction on very steep slopes (adjoining wilderness), massive erosion, cutting of old growth forests, damage to the AT and viewsheds, increasing invasive species problems, among other things. The surprise Record of Decision can be viewed here.

Page 33 describes how to submit objections within 45 days of the original filing, to be received no later than August 7, 2017.

Note that the FS is claiming that you have to have already commented (either on FERC record or to FS) since release of the DEIS specifically regarding the Jefferson National Forest and MVP in order to be eligible to object. Preserve Craig objects to this limitation and is currently researching the legality of such a restriction. The Forest Service failed to provide a public comment period, hold any public meetings, or place their proposal on the FERC docket, instead placing a Notice in the Federal Register on June 5, 2017, 82 Fed. Reg. 25761.

For further guidance on the FS claimed objection process.
More FS documents about MVP.

FERC summary and links The FERC issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on June 23, 2017. Within 90 days, the FERC commissions are expected to vote on whether to issue a certificate and what conditions and restrictions may be required. The Commission does not currently have a quorum, pending Senate confirmation of two new nominees.

The file is massive and the 930 page long summary can be found here. If you would like to see the entire FEIS summary with appendices, you can access them here.

DEQ schedule and links

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality can deny MVP permits under, water protection laws regardless of any possible FERC certification.

We are asking the DEQ to thoroughly review and reject MVP’s construction plans under the Clean Water Act Section 401. DEQ is holding the following hearings:

  • July 19: Water Control Board hearing in Richmond, VA

Public Hearings About the MVP:

  • August 8: 801 East Main St., Radford, VA, 5 to 10 PM
  • To Be Announced: Chatham, VA

Preserve Craig signed on to a letter requesting DEQ to do its job and protect Virginia waters. The letter, addressed to the Governor, the State Water Control Board and DEQ Director Paylor, urges the Commonwealth to use the full scope of its authority to assess the impacts of the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. We are asking Department of Environmental Quality and the State Water Control Board to conduct a thorough and transparent review of stream and wetland crossings, as well as all upland activities, and ensure that Virginia water quality standards are met.

Roanoke Times June 18, 2017 Article: Virginia DEQ pledges thorough review of pipeline impacts

Links to other Recent Articles of Interest:

Legislative Contacts:
Please continue to contact your state, federal and local leaders.

Legislative contacts action list with names, addresses and phone numbers provided by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
 
 
 
 

Older Posts:

FERC Releases Draft Environmental Impact Statement!

On September 16 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released the much anticipated Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The DEIS is based upon the resource reports, already submitted to the FERC, which are rife with incomplete and inaccurate data regarding the environmental, economic, and cultural impacts of the 301 mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. A 90 day public comment period on the contents of the DEIS will end on December 22, 2016. FERC is offering four options by which comments may be submitted. Individual verbal comments will be taken privately by a FERC official and recorded by a stenographer during a series of sessions scheduled during the first three days of November. Note: these are NOT public hearings in which the public will have the opportunity to hear comments made by others! Comments may also be made electronically on the FERC website, as well as in writing to Kimberly Bose. Preserve Craig is in the process of organizing local community meetings to address the DEIS and discuss the next steps in the process of opposing the proposed MVP project. Please plan on attending these very important meetings-time and place to be announced in our next newsletter.

Preserve Craig released the following statement in response to the release of the DEIS:
“It is inconceivable that our government would issue a Draft EIS for public comment when it has been thoroughly documented that there are massive errors, gaps, and possible falsehoods in the information provided by the private corporation that filed this application. This document seems to accept everything submitted by the company as fact, while ignoring thousands of pages of comments submitted by concerned citizens and knowledgeable professionals. FERC offers the unsupported conclusion that such a massive excavation project will have “less-than-significant” environmental effects in steep mountain terrain that is the source of clean drinking water for millions of citizens in Virginia and beyond. FERC continues to perpetuate the claim that this massive project will not negatively affect the value of citizens’ private property, even within as little as 10 feet of the project. FERC’s conclusion is based on a “study” propagated by the natural gas industry itself, while at the same time FERC has ignored a more-recent study of potential impacts on property values and local economies done right here in Virginia. Furthermore, FERC has completely ignored a recent professional study that documented residents’ very high cultural attachment to this region of Appalachia, and another professional study that outlines the severe geologic hazards represented by the MVP proposal. There appears to be no independent analysis by FERC in this document, only a repackaging of obviously biased statements and conclusions from MVP. But none of this is any surprise from a federal agency that brags that it is fully supported by money that comes from the energy industry itself. This DEIS should spark a Congressional investigation of the fraud being perpetrated on the people of this region, and the broader issue that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission charged with evaluating such energy projects is fully staffed with commissioners who come from the very industry that they are supposed to regulate for the good of all American citizens.”

Read more about the DEIS Release here:
Appalachian Mountain Advocates Website: Groups Condemn FERC’s Review of Proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline

Community and Conservation Groups Condemn FERC’s Review of Proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline

FERC Draft Report Calls Pipeline’s Potential Impact “Limited”

Access the FERC DEIS documents here.
Download Instructions:

  1. Check the box next to the first file name.
  2. Click button at the bottom of the page DOWNLOAD.
  3. In the window that opens, you will be prompted to continue with download.
  4. Click “YES.” This will download a Zip file to your computer.
  5. Move the Zip file into a folder or directory of your choice.
  6. In the folder containing the Zip files, simply click on each folder to access the files.
  7. Repeat step number 1-6 above with each file you want to download.

 

Legislative Update

Thank you to everyone who supported the proposed pipeline legislation by contacting their legislators!
HB 1118 and SB 614 did not make it out of committee. SB 726 was defeated 13-0 by bipartisan vote. S2012 was pulled from the Senate floor.
Please check back periodically for other updates.

Preserve Craig Files for Intervenor Status
Nov 25, 2015

Preserve Craig filed a formal motion for leave to intervene on November 25, 2015 as a necessity to comply with its mission to serve and protect the environmental resources and quality of life of Craig County citizens. It is Preserve Craig’s belief that the MVP application omits or mischaracterizes essential information along the proposed MVP route and formally requests that key questions and issues raised by all affected parties be addressed before issuing the draft Environmental Impact Study. To see the full filing document, click here.

If you missed the FERC Filing-it is not too late! Click here!

Sign this Petition to Fix FERC First (note: the bullet points are the very points made in letters to Federal Legislators by Preserve Craig requesting investigation of the FERC!)

This website provides excellent insight into issues involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the methodology currently in place to grant permits to the massive number of pipeline applications being approved without proper oversight.

Check out this video series about the Pipeline by Marino Colmano!
Episode 18 – “Mussel up!” includes commentary from Preserve Craig members on how the proposed pipeline route will affect an endangered species located in our county among other environmental concerns.

MVP Files Formal Application – Preserve Craig Responds, October 23, 2015
Mountain Valley Pipeline filed their formal application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today, seeking approval for their proposed natural gas pipeline project. The review and decision process is expected to take a year.
Preserve Craig cautions citizens and landowners, “We continue to oppose the project itself. New routes can be proposed at any time, and we must not let our guard down. Preserve Craig can be proud that our efforts have succeeded in protecting part of Craig County, but that is not good enough. The entire concept of huge underground pipelines in this sensitive topography must be challenged. These projects threatens our water, our resources, and the special quality of life we cherish in our region.”

Programmatic Environmental Impact Study, October 19, 2015
A newly released comprehensive legal memo documents the need for a regional study of the proposed pipelines. Lawyers with the Water and Power Law Group, on behalf of Preserve Craig, Inc., filed a comprehensive report with the FERC earlier this week documenting the importance of a regional programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) that would include all pipelines originating from the Marcellus Shale natural gas fields. Read the full report here.

New Study Undercuts MVP Economic Benefit Claims, October 6, 2015.
A new study by Key-Log Economics (“Reason for Caution: Mountain Valley Pipeline Economic Studies Overestimate Benefits, Downplay Costs”) casts strong doubts on the claims made by MVP for economic benefits of the pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia. This new report shows that previous studies exaggerate the benefits and largely ignore the public and external costs attending the construction, operation and presence of the MVP.
See Press Release here.
See study critiquing MVP FTI report in our library.

Tell Our Elected Officials to Read These Reports
We’ve compiled important reports that are now available at our new e-Library. You can view, download, and refer others to many useful documents about the risks and dangers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline here. Check them out and let our governor and legislators know there are serious problems with this project and the unfair process for licensing pipelines.

Preserve Craig is asking Craig County landowners to share information about their property so that we can use the data to protect our natural resources. Some of this data about our community will be aggregated to supply to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions (FERC) to show that Craig County is not a place for utility corridors.
Click here for more information and to access the survey.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) scoping comment period about what to include in its Environmental Impact Statement ended at 5 PM EST on June 16.  Preserve Craig submitted 17 substantial documents which will be available for viewing on the FERC website shortly (we’ll let you know as soon as they have been posted).
Click here to view FERC’s Notice of Intent issued April 17, 2015

General comments are still being accepted by the FERC as well as specific environmental data about property on or near the proposed routes. So be sure to complete the Property Data Survey above!
Preserve Craig Team

Preserve Craig, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation formed in 1991 using volunteers and donations to protect our natural, historical, and cultural resources.  The address to send tax-deductible donations for this mission as allowed by law is:

Preserve Craig, Inc., PO Box 730, New Castle, VA 24127

PreserveCraig.org can be contacted directly at:

preservecraig@gmail.com

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