With numerous pipelines proposed for carrying natural gas through the state, West Virginians should expect that one of the state’s chief regulatory agencies in such matters – the Department of Environmental Protection – conducts its duties thoroughly. As its name implies, the agency should work hard to ensure that such projects don’t cause any undue harm to the environment.

However, the DEP appears to have fallen short regarding one of the proposed pipelines.

Several months ago, DEP approved a water-quality permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas from Wetzel County in Northwestern West Virginia through several other Mountain State counties and into Virginia. Some environmental groups sued to reverse that decision after DEP Secretary Austin Caperton refused a request by the citizen groups for a hearing on their administrative appeal, according to a report by the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

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