Friday, February 23, 2018

Contact: Angie Rosser, 304-437-1274,

Clean Water Advocates Ask Judges to Halt Fracked Gas Pipeline

Mountain Valley Pipeline is Ineligible For Streamlined Stream Crossing Permit, Coalition Says

RICHMOND, VA — Today, a coalition asked the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to order Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) to stay out of West Virginia streams until a decision is made on their appeal from last week. The groups made the request today because MVP is ineligible to use the streamlined stream crossing permit offered to it by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

According to a West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) condition, pipelines greater than 36 inches in diameter or that cross certain types of rivers must have an individual certification. Since DEP previously waived its right to issue an individual certification for the MVP, that project can not have such a certification and, therefore, the Army Corps of Engineers cannot allow MVP to use the streamlined Nationwide Permit 12 to trench through West Virginia streams. Without that streamlined permit, MVP must seek an individualized permit to build 591 stream crossings in West Virginia.

The coalition of clean water advocates in the case includes Sierra Club, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. The groups are represented by lawyers at Appalachian Mountain Advocates, a non-profit environmental law firm.

In response, West Virginia Rivers Coalition Executive Director Angie Rosser released the following statement:

“This is a case where shortcuts taken by the permitting agencies are coming back to haunt them. When it comes to protecting our waters, sidestepping the law is unacceptable – the court must intervene.”

Sierra Club Organizing Manager Bill Price said:

“It’s ironic that DEP’s failure to analyze the MVP’s threats to our water may be the very thing that stops this fracked gas pipeline from being built. If Governor Justice and his DEP won’t protect West Virginia’s water, maybe their incompetence will.”

Indian Creek Watershed Association President Howdy Henritz said:

“West Virginia’s DEP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are in a competition to abdicate responsibility to guarantee our clean water. They need to follow the law, treat each individual stream crossing as unique, and either certify that construction will not degrade our streams and wetlands or deny the permit. Otherwise, the biggest losers are the people and irreplaceable water resources of West Virginia.”

About West Virginia Rivers Coalition

West Virginia Rivers Coalition is a statewide non-profit organization promoting the conservation and restoration of West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams. Since 1989, it has served as the statewide voice for clean, healthy waters for all to use and enjoy. For more information, visit

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

About Indian Creek Watershed Association

Indian Creek Watershed Association is a non-profit community based organization whose mission is to preserve and protect Monroe County’s abundant, pure water. For more information, visit

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