Erosion and sediment control; inspections of natural gas pipelines, stop work instructions. (SB698)

Introduced By

Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) with support from co-patrons Sen. Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg), Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), and Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Erosion and sediment control; inspections; natural gas pipelines; stop work instructions. Authorizes the Department of Environmental Quality (the Department) to conduct inspections of the land-disturbing activities of interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies that have approved annual standards and specifications as such land-disturbing activities relate to construction of any natural gas transmission pipeline greater than 36 inches inside diameter to determine (i) compliance with such annual standards and specifications, (ii) compliance with any site-specific plans, and (iii) if there have been or are likely to be adverse impacts to water quality as a result of such land-disturbing activities. The bill authorizes the Department to issue a stop work instruction on the relevant part of the site when the Department determines that there has been a substantial adverse impact to water quality or that a substantial and imminent adverse impact to water quality is likely to occur as a result of such land-disturbing activities. The bill requires that upon written documentation of completion by the company and approval by the Department in writing of the corrective measures specified in the stop work instruction, the instruction shall be immediately lifted. Such stop work instruction may be appealed to the circuit court of the jurisdiction where the violation was alleged to have occurred or other appropriate court. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/10/2018Prefiled and ordered printed with emergency clause; offered 01/10/18 18104455D
01/10/2018Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
01/24/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB698)
01/25/2018Reported from Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources with substitite (12-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2018Committee substitute printed 18106076D-S1
01/29/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/30/2018Read second time
01/30/2018Reading of substitute waived
01/30/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18106076D-S1
01/30/2018Reading of amendment waived
01/30/2018Amendment by Senator Deeds agreed to
01/30/2018Emergency clause deleted
01/30/2018Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment SB698ES1
01/30/2018Printed as engrossed 18106076D-ES1
01/31/2018Passed by for the day
02/01/2018Passed by for the day
02/02/2018Passed by for the day
02/05/2018Passed by for the day
02/06/2018Engrossment reconsidered by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2018Amendments #1, #2 by Senator Chafin withdrawn
02/06/2018Reading of amendments waived
02/06/2018Amendments #3, #4 by Senator Chafin agreed to
02/06/2018Reengrossed by Senate as amended SB698E2S1
02/06/2018Printed as reengrossed 18106076D-E2S1
02/06/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2018Passed Senate (33-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB698E2S1)
02/08/2018Placed on Calendar
02/08/2018Read first time
02/08/2018Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources
02/19/2018Assigned ACNR sub: Subcommittee #4
02/20/2018Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendments (6-Y 0-N)
02/21/2018Reported from Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources with amendments (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2018Read second time
02/26/2018Read third time
02/26/2018Committee amendments agreed to
02/26/2018Engrossed by House as amended
02/26/2018Passed House with amendments BLOCK VOTE (98-Y 0-N)
02/26/2018VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (98-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/28/2018Passed by temporarily
02/28/2018House amendments agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2018Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB698ER)
03/05/2018Signed by Speaker
03/05/2018Signed by President
03/06/2018Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on March 6, 2018
03/06/2018G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, April 9, 2018
03/06/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB698ER)
03/08/2018Signed by President
03/09/2018Governor's recommendation received by Senate
03/10/2018Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (27-Y 11-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2018Reconsideration of Governor's recommendation agreed to (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2018Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (29-Y 11-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2018House concurred in Governor's recommendation (97-Y 0-N)
03/10/2018VOTE: ADOPTION EMERGENCY (97-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/10/2018G Emergency clause added by Governor's recommendation
03/10/2018G Governor's recommendation adopted
03/10/2018Reenrolled bill text (SB698ER2)
03/10/2018Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
03/10/2018Signed by President as reenrolled
03/10/2018Enacted, Chapter 297 (effective 3/10/18)
03/10/2018G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0297)
03/15/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB698ER2)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 1 minute.


This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

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Richard D. Shingles writes:

This is common sense legislation to monitor construction.

Nan Gray writes:

I support this bill, SB 698

Phil Pickett writes:

I support this bill and thank Sen. Deeds and the co-patrons for bringing it forward.
I would ask Sen. Edwards who represents my District as well as all other senators to support this bill.
Phil Pickett
Blacksburg, VA

Victoria Stone writes:

We must do everything possible to monitor and protect the water tables from being compromised by pipeline construction and activities, and the Commonwealth must do it because it's clear that the pipeline developers are not concerned much about these issues, and have inadequate plans for monitoring and remediation.

Cliff Shaffer writes:

I support SB698.

Tom Hoffman writes:

I support this bill. The natural gas industry has too much power and it runs roughshod over the rights of citizens. Mountain Valley Pipeline is hell-bent on destroying the village of Newport.

Susan Edwards writes:

Since both EEQT and Dominion Energy have hired the same company that has been cited many times for the shoddy construction practices that led to erosion and sedimentation in DRINKING water, please pass this bill to help your constituents who enjoy drinking water!

Carol Geller writes:

The citizens of Virginia need to know that lawmakers are as concerned about their water and environment from being abused by pipelines like the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Please protect our water and environment by doing the right thing and passing this bill.

John Hildreth writes:

I feel this bill makes a great deal of sense for VA residents in the pathway of pipelines. Erosion and sediment control are crucial issues in these kinds of projects. In a political environment where citizens have little say or power over what is done to their communities, this kind of legislation would begin to establish some semblance of protection to those communities. People don't deserve to have their public lands, water and personal property sacrificed for wealthy shareholders.