Former State Water Control Board member talks with EPA criminal investigators

Workers had begun laying portions of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Roanoke County near the Blue Ridge Parkway this past summer. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - July 26,2018)

Former State Water Control Board Member Roberta Kellam says she has provided a statement to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criminal investigators.

The news, first reported by The Roanoke Times and confirmed by the Mercury, comes as a pair of Roanoke attorneys are seeking a criminal investigation into alleged violations of civil and criminal laws by the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline between West Virginia and Pittsylvania County currently under construction.

“I have no additional comments other than to say that I did provide a statement to the U.S. EPA Criminal Investigation Division,” Kellam, who has written op-eds for the Mercury that have been critical of the state’s oversight of a pair of natural gas pipeline projects, said in a statement to the Mercury.

“We concluded there was enough evidence of violations of criminal law, particularly the Clean Water Act, that we could make a good-faith submission to the EPA,” Charlie Williams, an attorney who specializes in environmental law at the firm of Gentry Locke, told The Roanoke Times.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear a constitutional challenge over use of eminent domain brought by landowners affected by the project.