‘Speeding us toward disaster’

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017


On Sept. 14, a large group of concerned citizens from across the state gathered at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) headquarters in Richmond to deliver a letter demanding the department do its job. We weren’t allowed in the building. To focus attention on the critical environmental issues we face, 19 of us blocked the entrance to the building and were given summonses.

The Tidewater area of our state is now routinely flooding because of rising sea levels.

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Two massive fracked gas pipelines are poised to begin construction, bringing with them the certainty of toxic pollution, erosion and irreparable harm to our water supplies. Instead of addressing the gravity of these issues, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his DEQ are doing worse than nothing — he is speeding us towards disaster.

Our governor says he opposes fracking, but these pipelines will carry fracked gas from West Virginia with a high level of risk from leaks and explosions the whole way. McAuliffe has condemned President Donald Trump for pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, yet he continues to accept huge donations from Dominion Energy, our electric monopoly that has so completely “bought” the majority of our state politicians that it dictates policy on local and statewide levels.

The DEQ reversed its original stated promise to study each proposed water crossing that the proposed pipelines will make. Is this our “Department of No Environmental Quality?”

Deborah Kushner

Nelson County