West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Cabinet Secretary Austin Caperton announced this week that the agency has lifted the suspension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) state Stormwater Permit.
The suspension of the state Stormwater Permit was put in place in September to allow the agency to properly respond to all public comments received.
Additionally, the state has chosen to waive the individual 401 Certification of the federal permits for the MVP. The Army Corps of Engineers recently reissued, with provisions that are specific to West Virginia, the Nationwide 12 permit which is used for stream crossings. These new conditions, when combined with specific requirements that are included in the state’s storm water permit, will allow for better enforcement capabilities and enhanced protection for the state’s waters.
“This is a case where the public review and comment system worked especially well,” noted Secretary Caperton. “This summer, after months of diligent work, WVDEP put forth for public review and comment a draft certification and permit for the MVP pipeline. As a result of some of the issues that were included in those public comments, our agency developed a revised strategy that will better utilize the state storm water permit to provide significantly stronger safeguards for the waters of West Virginia.”
West Virginia is unique among all surrounding states in that it has a stormwater permitting program for oil and gas activities that it created nearly five years ago. The program was purposely designed to provide protection from the impact of large-scale projects like the MVP that are otherwise exempt from federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit conditions.