The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that the Army Corps of Engineers not grant Mountain Valley Pipeline a critical permit to cross several hundred streams in Virginia and West Virginia.
“EPA has identified a number of substantial concerns with the project as currently proposed, including whether all feasible avoidance and minimization measures have been undertaken, deficient characterization of the aquatic resources to be impacted, insufficient assessment of secondary and cumulative impacts and potential for significant degradation, and the proposed mitigation,” EPA Wetlands Branch Chief Jeffrey Lapp wrote in a May 27 letter.
The letter was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by environmental law firm Appalachian Mountain Advocates.
Roy Seneca, a regional spokesperson for the agency, said in an email Thursday that “EPA’s recommendation in the letter still stands.”
Among areas of concern highlighted by the EPA are the Upper Roanoke watershed, which will experience 200 of the project’s proposed 719 stream impacts, and the Middle New watershed, which will see nearly 100 impacts. Numerous Southwest Virginia counties and cities, including Montgomery, Floyd and Roanoke, fall within these watersheds.