WV Rivers News: Mountain Valley Pipeline Stream Crossing Permit, WV in the Federal Policy Spotlight

URGENT: Your Comments Needed on MVP’s Request to Cross Streams – Act by May 28

Mountain Valley Pipeline construction in Virginia over sensitive karst terrain.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is back at it, attempting to construct their pipeline through our headwater streams, under rivers and across wetlands. Right now, the Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing a request to allow them to proceed with waterbody crossings. Read our full comments to the Army Corps of Engineers on the request, and learn how to submit your comments here.

If you’ve been following this story for the past 6 years, (read our recent blog on the current state of the MVP) you’ll remember that MVP’s stream crossing permit was vacated by the court because they could not meet the conditions of the general permit, the Nationwide 12, which covers activities related to pipeline construction. Now, MVP is applying for a more site-specific, individual permit in an attempt to complete construction through the 600 waterbodies that have yet to be crossedwhich includes some of the biggest rivers, steepest terrain and most sensitive habitats.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is four years behind schedule, $3 billion over budget and has already incurred over 300 water violations and $2.7 million in fines between the two Virginias. It’s time to kick this ill-conceived project to the curb once and for all before any further damage is done. Tell the Army Corps of Engineers that this project is not in the public interest and they must deny MVP’s request.

New Wetland Mapping Project Documents WV’s Dwindling Wetlands

Canaan Valley by Kent Mason

It probably comes as no surprise that those of us here at WV Rivers are HUGE fans of wetlands. Wetlands, like headwater streams, are extremely vulnerable to pollution and serve an essential role in the landscape.

They provide critical habitat to some of our state’s most charismatic flora and fauna like cattails, orchids, otters, and spotted turtles. Additionally, they play an important role in flood and sediment control.

A new mapping project by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is documenting West Virginia’s wetlands. Researchers have found that West Virginia has lost about 80-90% of its wetlands, and currently, about 1% of the state’s land area can be classified as wetland.

You can dive into the wetland mapping project through the easy to use online story map. Check it out!

West Virginia is Pivotal to the Future of Climate Policy

If you’ve been following the news, you’ll know that infrastructure, the climate and the economy are top priorities for Congress. And you’ve probably noticed that West Virginia is getting a lot of attention. Not only because West Virginia arguably has the most to gain from investment in infrastructure, but because two of the most influential members of Congress on these policies – Senator Manchin and Senator Capito – hail from the Mountain State.

Both are pivotal to the passage of the Biden Administration’s infrastructure package, the American Jobs Plan and, not surprisingly, they are getting push back from lobbyists and state government officials.

Passage of federal  infrastructure legislation is an opportunity West Virginia can’t afford miss out on. In the coming months, we’re going to need your help to make sure West Virginia, and our water, comes out on top of any infrastructure bill.

New Video Highlights Impacts on Landowners by MVP

In our second video in our three-part series on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, landowner Karolyn Givens describes the impact on her historic home and property by the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

You can hear Karolyn tell her story about how her property was taken by eminent domain for the construction of the pipeline here.

The first video in our Mountain Valley Pipeline series features soil scientist Nan Gray, who describes why West Virginia’s soil structure and topography isn’t suitable for projects like the MVP. Watch it here.

West Virginia is Pivotal to the Future of Climate Policy

We’re hiring a Program Director! This is a senior-level full-time position which provides overall leadership in the areas of program development and implementation, fundraising, and administration.

The Program Director manages a team of 3-5 staff members and will oversee performance management, professional development, and work plan development for each team member.

Do you know someone that would be a good fit for the position? Help spread the word! Please share this announcement with your networks.

Your Donation Promotes Science-Based Water Policy

Did you know that our Science Fund helps decision-makers in Charleston have the best available science at their fingertips, and empowers WV Rivers to be your voice in public policy?

You may have received a letter from us through the postal service recently – if you didn’t get a chance to read it yet, open it up and take a look – there’s a lot of great information in there!

If you didn’t receive your letter, that’s okay! You can read it here.

Please help replenish our Science Fund to keep up with the year-round demands of our citizen oversight and policy advisory programming. We can’t relax, or we’ll lose traction. We need to continue to be in the room holding industry and agencies accountable.

And our work doesn’t stop at West Virginia’s borders. We have nearly weekly conversations with our U.S. Representatives and Senators as Congress debates issues around water, climate, energy and infrastructure. Policies that are so relevant to West Virginia. Your support is essential to helping us keep up with it all!

Your donation of $25, $50, or $100 or more will help us keep up with the demands of maintaining and preserving West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams. Please consider a tax-deductible donation today

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