FERC Grants Mountain Valley Pipeline Extension
On August 23, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order granting a four-year extension of time to complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).
This action by FERC is the latest in a long line of irresponsible decisions that this and other government bodies have issued over the last five years, to the harm of the people and environments all along the pipeline’s path. The Commission has again favored the narrow interest of a profit-making corporation over the public interest.
Most appalling is FERC’s refusal to acknowledge the changes to the environment already caused by MVP or to base this decision on any rational assessment as to whether damage and destruction to our waters and peoples’ lands will continue if MVP work is allowed to proceed.
Astoundingly, FERC asserts in its Order that “. . . there has been no showing that the environmental effects of the project have changed materially since the Commission authorized the project.” (see attached Order, paragraph 24).
Apparently FERC has simply chosen to ignore the piles of evidence in the record of the harms MVP has wrought on the people and waters in its way.
Wild Virginia’s reviews of inspection reports by the Virginia DEQ and contract inspectors show well more than 600 instances when sediment was dumped onto lands outside the pipeline right of way, in Virginia alone. And in more than 100 instances, sediment was deposited into streams and wetlands. These damages have occurred whenever construction was underway: from early 2018, when construction started, all the way to late 2021, after which construction has almost ceased. (See Documenting the Damage from December, 2021 and the attached reports submitted to FERC in July, 2022 for documentation and further details).
MVP had no right to dump its mud onto other peoples’ properties but that hasn’t stopped them; it had no right to desecrate our waters but they’ve done it over and over again. It would be delusional to think that MVP won’t pile yet more pollution onto what it’s already dumped off its work sites. Now FERC have given the corporation a green light to do just that.
Despite this betrayal by yet another decision-making body, the thousands of people who have joined in the fight against this injustice won’t stop now. We’ve gotten used to officials ignoring facts and kowtowing to this industry. But we’ll keep going until this project is ended and then we’ll insist that at least some of the wounds MVP has inflicted on our land, our water, our people, and our future are healed.