ROANOKE, Va.- - Rallies and protests over the Mountain Valley Pipeline in several parts of our area are growing as people are concerned for their properties and any potential effect on their health.
But now a DEQ report says sediment from the proposed pipeline could make its way into many Roanoke waterways. And according to Roanoke city officials, it'll cost millions of dollars to clean up.
The DEQ reports find if construction is approved, the sediment load below the water could increase by 1,000 tons or 2 percent per year, which could be harmful.
Dwayne D'Ardenne, the city's storm water utility manager, informed council members of the potential effects.
"According to their consultant, it would follow or could potentially follow all the way to Niagara Dam and or Smith Mountain Lake, if MVP does not include sufficient best management practices.
City Council members like John Garland say they were surprised to hear the news.
"I had no idea that there was a big of an effect to the city of Roanoke from the pipeline since it doesn't go through the city of Roanoke. It goes to Roanoke County and west of here," Garland said.
According to D'Ardenne, the sediment is an industrial pollutant which could hurt species in the water such as the Roanoke Logperch.
"They lose their food source," Garland said.
Since the city is already mandated by the DEQ to clean up and remove sediment in the river, the extra sediment could cost the city an extra $100 million for erosion and sediment control.
Garland says the big question is who should be responsible for paying.
"In certain times we find out we are left to pay the bill. Or the state is involved or the federal or the company that's putting in the pipeline pays, which is probably where it should lie," Garland said.
We've reached out to representatives with the Mountain Valley Pipeline for a response to this story but we haven't heard back.
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