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ACP issued violation

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC (ACP) on March 16 for failing to maintain adequate limits of disturbance during tree felling operations in violation of Virginia’s State Water Control Law. According to a press release from DEQ, these limits forbid work within buffer zones to protect stream and wetland crossings during pipeline development and are instrumental to the protection of Virginia’s environment and natural resources.

The ACP is a 42-inch natural gas pipeline spanning Buckingham and parts of Cumberland and Prince Edward, and it also involves a 53,783-horsepower gas-fired compressor station along Route 56 in Buckingham. The NOV identifies violations on 15 separate sites resulting in an estimated 0.84 acres in impact to wetlands and streams.

“DEQ is watching pipelineactivities closely and expects full compliance with all conditions,” said David K. Paylor, DEQ director. “We will not hesitate to initiate enforcement actions like this to make sure the project complies with good environmental standards.”

The NOV requires ACP representatives to contact DEQ within 10 days to discuss how to remedy the situation and explain how they will prevent future violations. While limited tree felling is allowed, the activity cannot impact riparian areas.

“Furthermore, land disturbance cannot begin until all of the erosion and sediment and stormwater control plans required for all sections of the project are approved by DEQ,” officials said in the release.

The NOV was brought up by Buckingham County residents at Monday’s Buckingham County Board of Supervisors meeting during the public participation section of the meeting.

“It’s just not right, why do we have to pay for their mistakes?” said Buckingham County resident Quinn Robinson. Marie Flowers said there are people who are upset with the tree felling because of the lack of public announcements. Tree felling began in January.