Virginia’s pipelines are not a done deal [Pipeline protesters should pipe down, May 3]. Many legitimate concerns persist about threats to Virginia’s wetlands, rivers and streams—so many, in fact, that in April the State Water Control Board wisely voted to reopen public comment to address questions about how the project will affect the nearly 1,000 waterways to be crossed.
These water crossings involve trenching and in-stream blasting, which would discharge sediment and other pollution into the streams that feed Virginia’s rivers and the Chesapeake Bay and potentially threaten drinking water supplies.
Rather than having the state evaluate these sensitive stream crossings on a case-by-case basis, Virginia has proposed relying on a nationwide general permit to govern these crossings. Fortunately, Virginia officials are taking a closer look at the issue.
We can’t take the safety of our waterways for granted. Just as work got started two months ago, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was cited for illegally cutting trees near streams in western Virginia. Our mountains, forests and waterways are what make Virginia beautiful. We know what we must do to protect them.
Speaking up for clean water is the same as protecting something you love. It is the right thing to do.
Rebecca LePrell Tomazin