The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Atlantic Coast Pipeline Opponents Down But Not Out After Conditional Approval
A Virginia panel of regulators granted a conditional approval for a controversial gas pipeline Tuesday, saying that more information on environmental impact is needed before the project can proceed.
The Virginia State Water Board voted 4-3 to approve water permits for the pipeline in one of the project's last remaining hurdles, but delayed the start of construction until several additional environmental studies are reviewed and approved.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, backed by state political power player Dominion Energy, has met with heavy local opposition. Advocates filed suit in federal court last week following the water board's decision to green light a similar project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline, last week.
As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The board, which had been grappling with delaying a decision on the project, ultimately approved the certification with an amendment by board member Timothy G. Hayes that prevents it from becoming effective until the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality finishes reviewing and approving a series of plans and mitigation measures.
Many pipeline opponents contend that those plans, which deal with stormwater and erosion and sediment control, among other areas, are key to deciding whether the project can be built without degrading state waterways. Developers' plans call for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cut through 11 Virginia counties on its way to North Carolina, not including an extension to Chesapeake.
"While this outcome buys us time, it's still far from the end result for clean water we wanted—a flawed application that didn't include required details outlining how Dominion planned to mitigate water pollution from its unnecessary pipeline shouldn't have even gotten a hearing in the first place," Lee Francis, communications manager for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement. "It's at least a promising sign that regulators sent Dominion back to the drawing board."
For a deeper dive:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.
He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.
But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.
By Julia Conley
Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.
More than 130 wildfires were burning on Australia's East Coast Sunday, The Guardian reported. The blazes have killed three and destroyed at least 150 structures so far, and conditions are expected to worsen Tuesday, when the greater Sydney area will face "catastrophic fire danger" for the first time.