Laurence Hammack questioned why we have a Department of Environmental Quality in his most recent article ("Pipeline opponents, spurned by the state, ask federal agency to stop work," June 22 news story.) After some digging in their website, I found the answer in their mission statement. They “protect and enhance Virginia’s environment, and promote the health and well being of the citizens of the Commonwealth.” Yet, with over 300 violations of sedimentary runoff and counting, DEQ has only issued warnings to the Mountain Valley Pipeline, despite their mission statement. DEQ’s vision also ensures that “Virginians will enjoy: Cleaner water available for all uses, improved air quality that supports communities and ecosystems, and the productive re-use of contaminated land,” yet they allow mudslides and sediment to flow into centuries old streams. The Mountain Valley Pipeline fracks mountains in West Virginia before it pushes south through Virginia with no regard to communities and ecosystems and contaminates hundreds of miles of land for later re-use.
DEQ’s mission and vision imply they should be stopping construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. But, DEQ is not. So, it’s up to citizens affected by the pipeline to let their voices be heard. On Thursday, June 27, the Virginia Water Board is meeting at the Doubletree by Hilton in Sandston, Virginia. The Water Board must be informed and pressured into acknowledging and acting upon how the Mountain Valley Pipeline effects the many streams in southwest Virginia. Construction must be stopped. Let your voice be heard.