Natural gas pipelines; contingency plan, discharges, penalty. (HB1188)

Introduced By

Del. Chris Hurst (D-Blacksburg) with support from co-patron Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Natural gas pipelines; contingency plan; operation; discharge; penalty. Requires the operator of any natural gas pipeline of a certain size, prior to operation, to commission an independent test of the quality of ground water for each property in the right-of-way and to file a gas discharge contingency plan that is approved by the State Water Control Board (the Board). The bill authorizes the Board to adopt regulations requiring testing and inspection of the pipeline and annual retesting of ground water at properties in the right-of-way and a demonstration of financial responsibility by the operator. The bill prohibits the discharge of gas, establishes penalties for those discharging or causing or permitting a discharge or a substantial threat of such discharge, and establishes legal liability and defenses. The bill requires any person discharging gas immediately to report it to the Board and to local authorities but allows a discharge of up to 25 standard cubic feet of gas to be reported to the Board through normal recordkeeping. The bill requires recordkeeping by the pipeline operator, authorizes the Board to collect administrative fees, and provides for enforcement and civil and criminal penalties. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18104753D
01/10/2018Impact statement from VCSC (HB1188)
01/10/2018Referred to Committee on Rules
02/01/2018Referred from Rules
02/01/2018Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/05/2018Assigned ACNR sub: Subcommittee #4
02/06/2018Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (4-Y 2-N)
02/13/2018Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources


Cliff Shaffer writes:

I support this bill. I am a landowner with a well in Giles County, with obvious karst topography in my area. I need protection for my drinking water.

Georgia Haverty writes:

My four businesses and 2 family homes depend on one source of water; a spring. We need protection from this disaster.

Terry Hrubec writes:

This bill is necessary; the pipeline operators need to establish baseline water quality for each home prior to construction, otherwise they will claim that any damage to the drinking water was present prior to construction.

Pamela Humphrey writes:

I support this bill with 2 reservations. First, the prior testing requirement should document quantity as well as quality of the water resource since pipeline construction may disrupt underground water passages and decrease or even eliminate current water supplies.
Secondly, to require testing of only those properties "in the right-of-way" is rather short sighted since we have documentation proving water moves up to 7 miles underground in this area.

Robin Austin writes:

Water is life. It must be protected. I support this bill.

Nan Gray writes:

I support this bill.

jenny Chapman writes:

Pam Humphries comments above echo my concerns as well. Water quality degradation effects are not limited to the right of way properties.

Richard D. Shingles writes:

HB 1188 is absolutely essential legislation to safeguard property owners and the Commonwealth from damage caused by spills associated with the construction and operation of Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

Of critical importance is the protections this bill provides for state water quality. Passage of this legislation is even more important given the failure of the State Water Control Board and DEQ staff to adequately assess the threats to water posed by these two pipelines.

Robin Scully Boucher writes:

I support this bill. However testing of water that may be tainted in the AQUIFER which is being affected is an important addition to this bill since groundwater in our karst regions moves in many directions away from point of source contamination.

Donna Pitt writes:

This is a reasonable approach to preserving quality of well and spring water in areas within the watershed of a pipeline construction project. I too would support testing of the aquifer itself, especially in areas of karst geology. I support this bill.

Gloria Thomas writes:

I support this bill.

Laurie writes:

I support this proposed legislation which provides for state water quality to safeguard property owners and the Commonwealth from damage caused by spills associated with the construction and operation of pipelines. I too would support testing of the aquifer itself.