Major Hurdles to Mountain Valley Pipeline Completion
The Mountain Valley Pipeline is three years behind schedule, three billion dollars over budget, has crushing legal and regulatory challenges, and no competition date in sight. The project has major hurdles to overcome in order to be completed. NextEra Energy, a company with nearly one-third partnership in MVP states, “The continued legal and regulatory challenges have resulted in a very low probability of pipeline completion.”
Construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) began in early 2018. The builders have racked up hundreds of violations and damaged our waters and people along the project’s path. Still, we and thousands of allies have prevented the pipeline’s completion and continue the fight to stop it on all fronts.
In 2021, MVP seeks approvals to cross through or under hundreds of streams and wetlands. The Corps of Engineers is considering an application for a Clean Water Act permit to allow MVP to dig and blast through our waters. At the same time, the state of Virginia must certify that the proposal will meet all of our water quality standards before the Corps can allow construction.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is reviewing a proposal by MVP to bore under more than 180 waterbodies to evade other permitting requirements. MVP has not done the necessary study to show how this drilling will affect underground environments and water flows and we oppose this reckless scheme.
While the regulatory reviews go forward, we continue to challenging improper agency decisions in court. Lawsuits still to be heard in 2021 include:
- A challenge to decisions by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management that would allow the pipeline to cross the Jefferson National Forest.
- A suit asserting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to properly assure protections of sensitive and valuable species, in accordance with its duties under the Endangered Species Act.
- Two challenges against FERC assert the Commission is improperly allowing work without all federal approvals and to continue a project that time has shown to be unneeded and destructive.