The Roanoke Times recently announced the $266,000 settlement between West Virginia and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) for environmental violations that have despoiled many miles of streams. The article stated that the settlement came to less than 1% of the project cost.

The settlement is much less than 1%. It comes to less than .0058% of the project cost.

It is less than the proverbial drop in the bucket, and is an incentive for the MVP to continue, to pollute West Virginia waters. In fact, the MVP may have saved money under this deal by not installing the required environmental controls.

MVP’s dream team of highly paid attorneys argued that the company wasn’t to blame. They used the well worn “Act of God” defense, and apparently their buddies in West Virginia government chose to conspire with them in that falsehood.

They claimed it was the weather that caused the violations and the pollution. I can’t understand how the weather prevented the MVP from stabilizing inactive disturbed soils, especially when they are stabilizing via helicopter, like they did when they ruined an organic farm far off their right of way last year. I can’t understand how rain prevents cleaning mud and debris from roadways. Yes, it was wet, but I think that a review of rainfall totals will show that few if any storms last year exceeded the design criteria for sediment and erosion control devices.

The MVP is using this same lame excuse in Virginia.

Perhaps they want both states to sue God instead of them.

The MVP and other wealthy corporations need to be held truly accountable for their crimes, and a slap on the wrist like this doesn’t come anywhere close to reasonable accountability.

A public comment period regarding this settlement is open until June 22. West Virginia citizens should demand a more substantial enforcement action against the MVP.

Virginia citizens should tell Attorney General Mark Herring as well, that they will not accept a closed door sweetheart deal for the more than 300 MVP violations that were documented in Virginia last year.

WILLIAM LIMPERT

WARM SPRINGS

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