Concerns that the Mountain Valley Pipeline will create massive pollution during the passage of Hurricane Florence were well-founded [“Pipeline officials, environmentalists worry about catastrophic rainfall,” Metro, Sept. 12].
The article quoted Ben Leach of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality blaming extreme weather for the extensive earlier pollution from the pipeline. It said Mr. Leach testified to the Virginia Water Control Board that most storms this year have been greater than the standards of 24-hour rain events that occur once every two years.
This was simply not true. The Blacksburg, Va., weather station reports no storms of that intensity this year. Roanoke reports one four-day period in May with storms that may have reached this intensity. Danville reports the same May storm, but for one day only.
The extensive pollution is because of DEQ’s approval of plans that are deficient. The plans do not take into account the steep, highly erodible slopes through which much of the pipeline passes.
The weather is not to blame. DEQ and the pipeline caused this pollution.
Mr. Leach’s testimony is similar to DEQ’s earlier statement that it has a reasonable assumption that there will be no water-quality violations from the pipeline as justification for issuing water quality certificates. We all know better.
False testimony before the state’s Water Control Board leads to pollution of our streams, and places our drinking water at risk — especially for those in karst terrain who rely on springs and wells for their drinking water.
William F. Limpert, Warm Springs, Va.