The report is based on a review of 895 DEQ inspection reports, as well as thousands of pages of documents from a private company hired to help the state monitor construction. Wild Virginia obtained McDonough Bolyard Peck’s reports through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Taken together, the two sets of documents show “a serious problem” with DEQ monitoring and enforcement, according to the report.
Mountain Valley blamed the runoff problems on record amounts of precipitation in 2018. Those “challenges” have since been addressed with additional protections, Robert Cooper, vice president of construction and project leader, told the Office of waters at a public hearing in September. .
âOver the past two years, these actions have resulted in an exceptionally strong compliance record under very difficult circumstances,â he said.
The consent decree provides stipulated penalties for additional violations. There were 51 such cases, for a total of $ 85,000, from September 2019 to June, according to DEQ spokesperson Greg Bilyeu.
In West Virginia, where the 303-mile pipeline begins, state regulators fined the company an additional $ 569,000.
In its written submission to the Water Board, DEQ said Virginia law does not allow a permit like the one Mountain Valley seeks to deny on the sole basis of past violations.