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Thursday, December 1, 2022
ArlingtonOpinionLetter: Va. can do more to protect public from pollution

Letter: Va. can do more to protect public from pollution

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Editor: I read with disappointment that the Arlington County Board declined to declare a climate emergency [Sun Gazette, Nov. 18], passing up an opportunity to advance the county’s health, energy and economic interests.

Fortunately, the board has another immediate opportunity to act, by publicly opposing the problem-plagued Mountain Valley Pipeline in southern Virginia, which has a permit application before the State Water Control Board right now to cross waterways and wetlands in areas including our gorgeous Jefferson National Forest.

Lest this pipeline seem far away from us here, please consider that air and water polluted elsewhere in Virginia can absolutely make us sick, while the city has every possible interest in ensuring its energy supply is sustainable, resilient and reliable, everything that the Mountain Valley Pipeline is not. (Most of the fracked gas from the pipeline is destined for export, anyway.)

As a health-care worker and a woman with breast cancer in her 30s, I especially note that the air toxics released by natural-gas facilities are implicated in cancer and other diseases. No one should get poisoned so that a corporation can make money exporting dirty energy. I hope to see the county board step up to protect their constituents.

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The good news is that Arlingtonians can act even if their leaders won’t. Attend the Mountain Valley Pipeline “Violation Vigil” December 11 in Richmond to let leaders know that you want clean, safe energy. Attend the Dec. 14 meeting in Richmond where the Water Control Board will decide if Virginians’ health is the government’s priority.

We deserve breathable air that doesn’t make anyone sick.

Erica Mitrano, R.N., Arlington

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