Science

TU, partners release report on pipeline-related sediment regs

In this tributary to Georgescamp Run in West Virginia, distinctly visible settleable solids and deposits are considered “conditions not allowable” in the state permit for the project. WVDEP issued a violation to the Mountaineer Xpress Pipeline for this incident.

The recent and ongoing buildout of pipeline infrastructure in Central Appalachia has brought large-scale construction and earth disturbances to coldwater watersheds throughout the region.

TU and our partners at the West Virginia Rivers Coalition have released a new report discussing how sediment pollution is regulated in West Virginia and Virginia, and how turbidity standards could be strengthened and better implemented.

The primary threat of pipeline construction to trout streams is sediment pollution.

Increased sediment in streams can smother spawning beds, degrades habitat for benthic macroinvertebrates, and impacts feeding habits of fish and other aquatic organisms.

Sediment pollution is often measured using turbidity, a measurement of the relative clarity of water.

TU and its partners continue to advocate for stronger water quality standards and  enforcement activities to assure these streams continue to receive proper protections.