Delegate Chris Hurst calls for immediate stop work order for Mountain Valley Pipeline

"What remains unclear is a lack of action to enforce these laws today."

ROANOKE, Va. – Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst is asking for an immediate stop work order for the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Hurst sent a letter to Department of Environmental Quality Director David Paylor Monday with the request.

"I applauded the efforts (during the 2018 legislative session) to enact emergency legislation to address concerns the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines would potentially harm existing stormwater management and erosion and sedimentation control laws,” wrote Hurst in the letter. “Unfortunately, the landowners in my district and many others cannot continue to guess what it will take for a reasonable stop work order for the Mountain Valley pipeline project.”

SB 698 and SB 699 allow DEQ to issue a stop work order on a part of the construction site that has caused “substantial and adverse impacts to water quality or are likely to cause imminent and substantial adverse impacts to water quality,” according to a news release from Hurst.

Earlier this year, DEQ directed Attorney General Mark Herring to file a lawsuit against MVP, alleging more than 300 violations between June 2018 and November 2018. The lawsuit, filed in Henrico County Circuit Court, is still pending. 

"Clearly there is evidence of violations and a lack of seriousness on the part of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC,” said Hurst. “What remains unclear is a lack of action to enforce these laws today.”

Hurst, a Democrat, represents Virginia's 12th House District. That district covers Giles County, the city of Radford and parts of Montgomery and Pulaski counties.