POWHR Newsletter

Thanks for supporting us yesterday on Giving Tuesday.

We're back with a special POWHR Year-End Blog by Crystal Cavalier-Keck ahead of Virginia Air Pollution Control Board's Friday decision on the MVP Southgate Lambert Compressor Station air permit. If you can't make it to the hearings or didn't get to comment previously, we have a petition you can sign asking the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board to deny the permit.

We also have an update on MVP's West Virginia Clean Water Act Section 401 permit application, some upcoming events and news. Thanks for bearing with multiple emails this week, valued readers! 

Photo courtesy of Crystal Cavalier-Keck

Respect and Protect Our Air, Our Lives

Read and amplify this POWHR Year-End Guest Blog by Crystal Cavalier-Keck. Crystal Cavalier-Keck is the co-founder of Seven Directions of Service with her husband. She is a citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in Burlington, NC. She is the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the NAACP, a board member of the Haw River Assembly and the a member of the 2020 Fall Cohort of the Sierra Club’s Gender Equity and Environment Program and Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) Accelerator for Grassroots Women Environmental Leaders.
Here's a taste: 
"This week, Virginia’s Citizen Air Pollution Control Board will host a meeting on December 2-3 to decide whether or not to grant an air pollution permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s proposed Lambert Compression Station. That’s why this past weekend, we mobilized in Danville to protect our communities from the impacts of the MVP Southgate Lambert Compressor Station. This event is an example of the strength and love of our community. We came together to care for one another, fight for our futures, and enjoy our time on this Earth. We know that when we come together, we are stronger than the polluting fossil fuel interests that have tried for decades to kill us and take our lands."
- Crystal Cavalier-Keck
Read Crystal's Full Blog
Graphic by ARTivism Virginia
Sign this petition expressing your disappointment with DEQ's biased comment summary and requesting that the Air Pollution Control Board deny MVP Southgate's Lambert Compressor Station permit! Sign if you cannot attend the 12/2 or 12/3 hearings, or if you could not comment in DEQ's comment period!
Sign Here!
Endangered Species Candy Darter. Photo Credit: Racel Mair/USFWS

What About West Virginia's Waters? 

Yesterday, the Army Corps of Engineers (‘Corps’) pushed back the deadline for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP)’s decision on whether or not to grant  Mountain Valley Pipeline permission to construct across water bodies. The Corps has given the WVDEP until December 30th to make the decision on MVP’s Clean Water Act Section 401 permit application, which would allow it to install MVP’s fracked-gas pipe under streams and rivers in WV. 

The proposed fracked gas pipeline would drive 197 miles of pipeline through West Virginia, about 65% of the total route, and build three compressor stations. We know this pipeline is neither necessary nor inevitable, and we know there should be no new fossil fuel projects during a climate crisis that they caused. So we sat down with our Co-Chair Russell Chisholm to hear his take on what this news means for our movement to stop MVP.

Does this have any implications for the Boring amendment that’s being considered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)?

RC: It likely does not change the timing for a decision from the now full 5-member commission. We anticipate that the amendment request to change 181 stream and wetland crossing methods could be taken up at the earliest in the December FERC meeting on the 16th.

Would this lead to a similar request from the Virginia DEQ?

RC: I’m not aware of any plans the Virginia DEQ has to change their decision date of December 14th for Virginia’s Section 401 draft permit. DEQ received MVP’s Joint Permit Application (JPA), on March 4, 2021 and had originally asked for a full year to review, a time period allowed under the Clean Water Act. 

What does this mean for the Army Corps of Engineers decision?

RC: The timeline for a decision on MVP’s application under the authority of Section 10 of the federal Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act will be up to the Corps once they have answers from Virginia and West Virginia on the 401 permits. It seems unlikely that the Corps would issue a decision on the 404 permit before January now that West Virginia DEP has been given a December 30 deadline.

What are they trying to verify?

RC: According to the Gazette-Mail article, the Corps said it approved the extension request from the DEP on November 18th after receiving a request from the agency on November 2nd to extend the deadline to act on the water quality certification request for the pipeline project to December 30th “due to the lack of final documentation for many key components of the project,” according to Brian Maka, Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District spokesman. DEP spokesman Terry Fletcher said the DEP asked for additional time to “thoroughly evaluate and verify all information submitted to date.” We have yet to learn more about the specifics.

Upcoming Events

  • State Air Pollution Control Board Lambert Compressor Station Hearings - December 2nd at 1:00 PM ET and December 3rd at 9:30 AM ET in Chatham, VA
  • Halt the Harm Network's Mental Health Impacts of Oil and Gas Development - Thursday December 2nd at 2:00 PM ET. Register here.
  • Green New Deal VA Mobilize for Climate Justice for the 2022 Legislative Session - Thursday December 2nd at 7:00 PM ET. Register here
  • The Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER)Honor the Earth, the Native Organizers Alliance, and Menīkānaehkem invite you to join them for this online, "deep dive" workshop on the White Earth case to enforce the rights of manoomin (wild rice), Manoomin v. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - The First Rights of Nature Case Goes to Tribal Court - The Case for Manoomin (Wild Rice) - Tuesday December 7th at 7:00 PM ET. Register here.
  • Better Path Coalition Presents: Ted Glick, Author and Activist - Wednesday December 8th at 7:00 PM ET. Register here.
  • Reimagine Appalachia: Building Bridges: Engaging your Community in Climate Conversations. Thursday December 9th, 1:00-2:30 PM ET. Register here.
  • Halt the Harm Network's Cradle to Grave: The Reverberating Health Hazards of Oil and Gas Industry: Halt the Harm Network is joining forces with Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania (PSR PA) to focus on worker's often uninformed toxic exposure to PFAS chemicals and radioactivity, and its effects on their their family, communities, and beyond. Friday December 10, 2021 from 12:00 - 4:30 p.m. Click here to register.
  • Violation Vigil - Saturday December 11th at 1:00 PM ET in Richmond, VA (Register here)
  • State Water Control Board Meeting, MVP 401 Virginia Water Protection Permit Decision - Tuesday December 14th, in Richmond, VA


Ready to Join Us in Richmond on December 11th?

Curious about the Violation Vigil project and haven't been able to sign up yet? It's not too late. Register here

Photo by Matthew Pickett
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