The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources (DWR) has reissued and supplemented the denial of the request for a 401 Water Quality Certification and Jordan Lake Riparian Buffer Authorization for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) Southgate project, originally issued on August 11, 2020. MVP appealed the 2020 denial to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
In its March 11, 2021 ruling, the Fourth Circuit upheld the state’s authority to determine that authorizing impacts from the Southgate extension at this time poses unnecessary risk to North Carolina’s streams, lakes, and wetlands. The Fourth Circuit only remanded the decision back to the Division to address certain statements made by the hearing officer and to “explain why the Department chose denial over conditional certification.”
The denial reissued today reaffirms DWR’s determination, provides context for statements made by the hearing officer regarding minimization, and explains why DWR did not conditionally approve the Southgate project. DWR concludes that a conditional approval in these circumstances does not provide the reasonable assurance of compliance with water quality requirements.
The decision letter from the Division director, the previous denial letter and other information and documents related to the MVP Southgate project are available at https://deq.nc.gov/mountain-valley-pipeline.