Leesburg, VA (Oct. 10) -- After 33 groups representing over 335,000 people sent a letter to Attorney General Herring urging him to push Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to address the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s pollution to waterways, advocacy organizations based in Northern Virginia unveiled a “Herring Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline from Polluting Our Water” art installation in Leesburg today.
The protest comes a day after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lifted a Stop Work Order on the construction of the pipeline and granted the builders an extra two years to finish the project.
The art display of flowing water being polluted by a pipeline was accompanied by a short program where local environmental leaders from Food & Water Action, 350 Loudoun, Virginia Youth Climate Cooperative and the Mason Environmental Justice Alliance gave remarks and shared testimonies from individuals directly impacted by the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Herring has yet to respond to the organizational letter sent in late September, and he has not addressed earlier actions this past summer calling on him to halt the project.
“Trump’s executive order has allowed the Mountain Valley Pipeline and similar dirty energy projects to bypass key environmental regulations, greenlighting a project that has had over 300 violations in the state,” said Food & Water Action Virginia Organizer Jolene Mafnas. “Now the Army Corps of Engineers has recklessly reissued its nationwide permit for the pipeline, and FERC has rubber-stamped the project. It's only a matter of time until the pipeline's pollution escalates and construction becomes even more hazardous. Now more than ever, Attorney General Herring and Governor Northam must intervene before it's too late and stop this project from causing more irreparable trauma and harm to people and the environment.”
“Down here in Southwest Virginia we’re fighting as hard to protect the watershed as AG Herring has fought to protect the Chesapeake Bay. We need leadership from him now to change course and remember everyone upstream and downstream, especially rural people and coastal residents who will bear the highest costs of climate catastrophe from massive gas projects like Mountain Valley Pipeline,” says Russell Chisholm from Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights.
“The 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated there are only 12 years to make unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. New fossil fuel infrastructure like the MVP will increase, not reduce, emissions, putting us on the path to uncontrollable global warming,” says Natalie Pien, leader of 350 Loudoun, “AG Herring has publicly opposed President Trump on so many issues ranging from same sex marriage to immigration. President Trump includes the MVP on his priority list of projects. Why isn’t AG Herring opposing the president on this issue, too? Is AG Herring aligning himself with Trump?”
Contact: Seth Gladstone - sgladstone[at]fwwatch[dog]org, 917.363.6615