Preserve Craig – Sustaining the Quality of Life We Value

Published at: https://www.newcastlerecord.com/opinion/preserve-craig-sustaining-the-quality-of-life-we-value-2/

Bill Wolf
Co-chair Preserve Craig, Inc

We are making progress with efforts to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline! As we reported, several Federal and State agencies must approve the MVP before it can proceed to take private land and harm this region. Thorough scientific and policy evidence continues to be submitted to these agencies that shows this project should not be permitted.


The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) just closed its comment period about the public’s concerns about the DEQ’s proposal to issue water-crossing permits to MVP. They will continue accepting comments about erosion and sedimentation risks for another two months, but the State Water Control Board could act prematurely and issue the 401 water crossing permits as early as September. If DEQ does its job and turns down the MVP, recent federal district court rulings have just affirmed that the States indeed have the authority to stop such projects, for the very reasons we have repeatedly documented.

Here are excerpts from a letter to DEQ Director David Paylor from Dr. Marge Lewter, an active leader of Preserve Craig:

“The scale and scope of the MVP is unprecedented, not only in Virginia but anywhere. This pipeline will affect the water quality of every major river in our state including the watersheds of the James River, the New River, and the Roanoke River. Harm to these water resources is a certainty, including public and private water supplies.

I have a spring that has provided pure water from the top of Sinking Creek Mountain for a hundred years, even during the worst of drought conditions. Even with dye tracing, the network of springs is little understood due to the vast underground systems and reservoirs in our karst topography. Almost every farm in this valley depends on gravity fed water protected by National Forest on these mountain slopes. The well-known adage is never to disturb your spring or you will lose it!

MVP may be able to engineer a pipeline that traverses these slopes, but the CONSTRUCTION will lead to DESTRUCTION. The very process of building roads and digging a trench on steep slopes will cause permanent damage. There is no possible mitigation of loss of a spring, or of placing a huge diversion ditch that will draw all the water down to the bottom of these valleys and into our waterways.

The Virginia DEQ has jurisdiction not only under the Virginia State law and regulation, but also under Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act. To be true to your statutorily prescribed mission, you must retain your authority to analyze and evaluate the stream and waterway crossing impacts potentially or actually wrought by the proposed MVP construction. As a Virginia citizen, I call upon you to do what you initially determined was your agency’s leadership responsibility to protect the quality of water for all Virginians…

Water is more precious that natural gas, and you surely know how true this is. Our democratic government is designed with checks and balances. Your responsibility to Virginia citizens is to protect our environment and water from harm, especially when a private corporation threatens it. No action will assuredly be more protection of these resources than rushing into the ripple effect the wrong action. Virginians will support this decision.”

Now is the time to contact our elected officials and ask them to speak out to protect their constituents and stop this monstrous project. Most of our state legislators are doing just that, and need our support. Here are excerpts from State Senator Edwards’ recent letter to the DEQ:

“The Mountain Valley Pipeline is proposed to cross some of the steepest terrain in the eastern United States with unstable, porous limestone “karst” land filled with caves, sinkholes and landslides…

Natural gas pipelines are known to leak and break, with risk of contamination to pure, pristine underground water…

Many citizens in this region rely heavily on the pristine, fresh mountain spring water for drinking water. This is especially true in Giles, Montgomery, Craig, Roanoke, and Franklin counties. Contamination of well water would be an extreme threat to health and safety and cause long-term damage to the environment. Contamination of underground water in one area would most likely migrate to other areas since underground water is interconnected and impossible to control…”

More information on all these efforts and what you can do to protect our way of life can be found at the Preserve Craig website. Preserve Craig is accepting contributions to protect our water and our mountains. This will take a sustained effort and substantial funds and efforts to stop this project, so any tax-deductible donations will be appreciated.

Preserve Craig, Inc. is a 501C3 nonprofit volunteer public charity formed in 1991 using volunteers and donations to protect our natural, historical and cultural resources. Tax-deductible donations are welcomed online at http://www.preservecraig.org or by mail to: Preserve Craig, Inc., PO Box 730, New Castle, VA. 24127. Phone: 540-309-9560. Email: preservecraig@gmail.com

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