The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) Division of Water and Waste Management has issued the State 401 Water Quality Certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, a proposed natural gas pipeline that will transport West Virginia’s abundant natural gas to meet the growing need for power generation in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions.
Public hearings were held by WVDEP in Webster Springs, Hinton and Clarksburg to receive comments on the 401 Certification, as well as the Storm Water Construction Permit and the Natural Streams Preservation Act Permit. Representatives of DEP involved in the review of the project attended the hearings, presented project information, and discussed questions and concerns with attendees. Approximately 100 people from throughout West Virginia attended these hearings, expressing both support and concern for the project.
State Water Quality Certification, required by the Federal Clean Water Act, is needed when any project proposes to fill or otherwise affect state waters. Impacts of this project will require the purchase of stream and wetland credits, which will put West Virginians to work improving streams and wetlands throughout the state.
The State Oil and Gas General Water Pollution Control Permit and Natural Streams Preservation Act Permit are still being reviewed. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has not issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has not issued Section 404 Permits for the project.
The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline originates in Wetzel County and goes though Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Greenbrier, Fayette, Summers and Monroe counties before entering Virginia.