Interstate natural gas pipeline construction; water quality impact bond. (HB1294)

Introduced By

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


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Interstate natural gas pipeline construction; water quality impact bond; statewide halt. Requires any company that plans to construct an interstate natural gas pipeline in Virginia to post a performance bond with the State Water Control Board (the Board) in an amount sufficient to ensure that the Board could address and remediate any adverse water quality impact that arises out of the construction. The bill provides that if the Board determines that construction activity has caused or threatens to cause an adverse water quality impact, the Board shall undertake conservation action to address and remediate the identified water quality impact and issue an order to halt any construction on each interstate natural gas pipeline under construction in Virginia. The bill requires the Board to certify that the identified water quality impact has been fully addressed and remediated before construction on any pipeline can resume. The bill directs the Board to promulgate regulations to implement these provisions to be effective within 280 days of the bill's enactment. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18102462D
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.

So far, our experience with MVP is that they will not follow the rules that are in place. They don't follow the rules for advanced notice of access to property. They haven't been held accountable for following the data reporting rules during the permitting process -- the government agencies involved have let them get by with taking shortcuts. We at least need clear rules in place that will hold them accountable when these short cuts lead to damages. There is a history of such companies going bankrupt and thereby avoiding paying the affected parties. Posted bonds are a key part of our protections.

Georgia Haverty writes:

MVP, a shell company of EQT, has not been shown to be honest, competent, or accountable. Thus far, our agencies that are supposed to protect us from such blatant disregard for our natural resources, have not done so. Not one of them is willing to look at the science. Is it just too hard; too time-consuming; too politically distasteful? We the citizens of Virginia deserve protection.

Terry Hrubec writes:

This bill makes sense. CLEAN drinking water is a precious resource that we need to protect.

Pamela Humphrey writes:

This bill only goes half way. Posting a bond for damage done during construction is crucial, but equally important is a bond sufficient to protect Virginia property owners (and ultimately, Virginia tax payers) if the pipeline causes damage during operation. This could prove even more costly to remediate. Also, we must remember ultimately the pipeline will be retired and the company will no longer be responsible for its upkeep, area revegetation, erosion control, etc. Who pays then?

Robin Austin writes:

This bill is very important. Performance bonds are crucial to protect our water quality.

Nan Gray writes:

The amount of storage capacity usually required for safety (examples, stormwater basin or septic drainfield - both of which require detailed intensive soil survey) is two and one-half days worth of "flow". MVP ought to have retension basins of 2.5 times the pipe capacity per day for safety in event of leak, for storage capacity of pipe contents.

Jenny Chapman writes:

This is only reasonable. Pipeline companies must be held accountable. As an LLC, it would be too easy for MVP to abrogate any financial responsibility for damages. We need bonds for our protection.

Richard D. Shingles writes:

A performance bond is essential for construction of buried, large capacity pipelines through mountain terrain with steep ridges and karst valleys. The likelihood of damage to waters is high. Individual landowners and tax payers should not be stuck paying for the bill.

Robin Scully Boucher writes:

I support this bill. Contaminated groundwater cannot be restored.