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‘Will DEQ do its job?’

Editor:

While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the primary regulator for approval of natural gas pipelines, Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the responsible party for water protection.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) plans to cross thousands of water bodies, and it must take, use and return thousands of gallons of water in the process. 

Many homeowners and farmers in the path of the ACP depend upon wells and springs and do not have access to public water.

Pipelines cross the headwaters of water supplies for the most populated parts of Virginia and the District of Columbia, affecting many far from the proposed pipelines. Will DEQ do its job?

Information about DEQ’s plans to protect our water is confusing. Does DEQ have the resources needed to fully evaluate stream-by-stream plans, require needed changes, inspect during construction and ensure there is no erosion or sedimentation when the work is complete? 

Why would we trust people who will not live next to the pipeline to do the right thing for water when we do not trust farmers who live on the land and consider it heritage for future generations?

Based on the poor results of numerous previous projects under DEQ’s oversight across Virginia, many are concerned that DEQ is not up to the task.

Whether you support the ACP or not, your water could be impacted by its construction.

Irene Ellis Leech

Buckingham