Posted at: https://www.newcastlerecord.com/opinion/preserve-craig-sustaining-the-quality-of-life-we-value/
Co-Chair Preserve Craig, Inc.
Last week we gave you an overview of the risks to our area of these proposed massive pipelines ripping through our mountains, valleys and waterways. Report #2 from Preserve Craig focuses on the current efforts to oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).
This horrendous project can and must be stopped, for the good of all the people. But it will require citizens and legislators speaking out and having the money to prove in court that this is not for “the public good” but rather taking of private land for no benefit to the citizens of Virginia, only for profit by export of gas. We are convinced that the process and the project will violate the U.S. Constitution, the Virginia Constitution and numerous laws and regulations intended to protect us, our property and our precious clean water.
There are several Federal and State agencies that must approve the MVP before it can project to take private land and harm this region. Serious opposition to this project is being pursued with each of these agencies.
U.S. Forest Service: Our Forest Service will have to agree to change its long-established management plan to allow degradation of the viewsheds for the Appalachian Trail and serious damage to woodlands, waterways and soils. Preserve Craig science and legal experts objected to the Forest Service’s proposed Record of Decision to modify its management plan to allow Mountain Valley Pipeline to build on steep slopes, permanently erode soil and pollute our water, remove old growth timber, and build in roadless areas. The Forest Service’s own documents indicate that they are basing their decisions on MVP’s claims, not on the independent expertise that has been presented. The Forest Service appears to have even agreed to let MVP provide “litigation support” to the Forest Service, presumably to defend their illegal actions. This objection period closed on August 7, 2017, without adequate notice for public comment or public hearings.
Bureau of Land Management: Preserve Craig submitted extensive comments opposing the Bureau’s schedule, procedures and its proposal to issue a permit for MVP to cross public lands. This comment period is now closed.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): FERC will likely approve MVP’s application to be granted eminent domain authority to take private land for this project, beginning this summer. Preserve Craig and numerous other groups and individuals continue to submit information to the FERC documenting the massive deception in MVP’s filings and in the FERC’s conclusions that the project should proceed. The FERC now has a quorum of commissioners. Comments are still being accepted until they vote on MVP’s application. Two lawsuits are being filed against the FERC and MVP stating that this “taking” is unconstitutional.
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ): DEQ must issue permits for MVP to cross numerous creeks and rivers and can stop this project, as other States have done. The DEQ scheduled hearings this week about the MVP in Radford and Chatham. On Thursday, August 10 a.m. at 1 p.m. in Newport and at 7 p.m. in Roanoke the DEQ has agreed to participate in listening session Town Hall meetings. DEQ is currently accepting comments from citizens on issues directly related to erosion control plans and water quality issues.
It is also important to note that our Craig County officials, the Board of Supervisors and our County Administrator, are continuing to submit their comments and objections to all of these agents, opposing this insidious project. Thanks need to be called out to our local government for working to protect us.
More information on these efforts and what you can do to participate can be found at the Preserve Craig website.
Preserve Craig has received a few generous contributions in the last few weeks to continue its efforts. Thank you for this support!! But it is going to take quite a bit more money and work 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 welcome 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: firstname.lastname@example.org