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VA State Water Control Board Delays the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Oil Change International Response

WASHINGTON - Today, the Virginia State Water Control Board voted 4-3 to defer the Section 401 water quality certification for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. In response, Lorne Stockman, Senior Research Analyst with Oil Change International and Virginia resident, released the following statement:

“After a complete failure last week in approving the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s certificate, Virginia’s State Water Control Board (SWCB) has delayed certification of the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline until studies of sedimentation, karst and erosion issues are completed. This rightly acknowledges the danger to Virginia’s water the project poses, but fails to clearly address those threats. While this is most definitely not what Dominion wanted and gives opponents of the pipeline more time to push for rejection, the SWCB should have rejected the certificate outright. 

“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has seen massive opposition along its entire route. As was seen at the hearing today, those opponents are not going to rest easy until these pipelines are rejected outright. Indeed, just as they encircled the state Capitol in early December, Governor McAuliffe can safely assume he will be hearing loudly from Virginians opposed to this pipeline through the very day he leaves the Governor’s mansion. And when this pipeline hits Governor-elect Northam’s desk, you can be sure the opposition will be right there too. Governor-elect Northam should break free from Dominion’s grasp and protect Virginians by stopping the Atlantic Coast Pipeline as soon as he has the chance.

“This delay puts serious obstacles before Dominion and Duke and creates an opening for the pipeline to be rejected once and for all. The project still lacks a water certificate in North Carolina, where landowner and activist opposition continues, urging Governor Cooper to take up the mantle of climate leadership that Governor McAuliffe has abandoned.

“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, is a boondoggle that imperils our climate and communities. It must not be built. The Water Board has given itself an important opportunity to complete its work the right way by finalizing a complete rejection of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and doing the same for the Mountain Valley Pipeline as well.”

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