The suit requests judges issue a stop-work order of lack of erosion control
Six Franklin County, Va., landowners filed suit against the Mountain Valley Pipeline over failure to control storm water runoff and erosion from construction sites. The suit was filed May 29 in the U.S. District Court of Roanoke, Va., and petitions judges to issue a stop-work order until the pipeline builders adapt stricter storm water management and erosion control policies.
On May 15, heavy rains turned a cleared construction site into an eroded channel, which led to mudflow on Cahas Mountain road and nearly 8 in. of mud. According to The Roanoke Times, storm water runoff continued downhill to three pieces of land and left sediment on the properties and nearby streams.
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Employee Elizabeth Abe described the Little Creek as “so choked with mud that no water was flowing,” according to the lawsuit. Additionally, Abe found no erosion control devices installed on the work site in question.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline has faced considerable backlash from environmentalists who fear the disruptive construction lacks proper erosion controls and will wash sediment into streams, thus damaging fragile ecosystems. Mountain Valley Pipeline said immediately following the most recent mudslide incident proper erosion control devices were installed on the site.