Top Virginia Environmental Official Defends Pipeline Reviews

BOLAR, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s top environmental official insists the state is going “above and beyond” in evaluating the water quality impacts of two proposed natural gas pipelines.

Department of Environmental Quality Director David Paylor made the comments in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday after it came to light that his department released inaccurate information about the water quality review process for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. That sparked questions and criticism from pipeline opponents.

Paylor says a department spokesman inaccurately described the process. The spokesman said the department would examine each water body crossing. Instead, the department will rely in part on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit and supplement that review with a look at other issues.

Paylor says that’s far beyond what’s required by law.

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