WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE?
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 2023 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.
2023 Policy Recommendations
Fossil fuel infrastructure negatively impacts public health and the environment and contributes to our climate crisis. In Virginia, projects like the fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) perpetuate environmental injustice and hinder us from achieving the clean energy goals of our Commonwealth in an equitable manner. Pipelines like MVP represent an overbuild of gas infrastructure in the region and provide no true benefit for local communities. Like the similarly unneeded Atlantic Coast Pipeline (cancelled in July 2020), MVP should be cancelled. Legislators should adopt policies that recognize the severity of the climate crisis and strengthen protections for communities impacted by fossil fuel infrastructure. Download the full Virginia Conservation Network policy briefing: Our Common Agenda.
Latest Updates on the Mountain Valley Pipeline 2023
MVP secures key approval — one of many — as critics say process being rushed
March 6, 2023 (Pittsburgh Business Times)
“It seems the agency was more interested in
meeting the pipeline company’s schedule than protecting the
precious species it’s supposed to be looking after.” – Wild Virginia Conservation
Director David Sligh
Company that inspects the Mountain Valley Pipeline has conflict of interest
January 25, 2023 (The Roanoke Times)
Both Cardno and Stantec “make money from the companies who want to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” said David Sligh.
Forest Service to prepare new environmental impact statement on Mountain Valley Pipeline crossing
November 18, 2022 (WDBJ 7)
“I’m not going to prejudge how they are going to proceed,” Sligh told WDBJ7 in an interview, “but we’re concerned they’re going to push it faster than they need to. And it’s clear they are under pressure to do that.”
Green groups slam Dems’ natural gas pipeline side deal as a ‘betrayal’
September 12, 2022 (FOX Business)
“Members of both parties who claim to believe in property rights must come out against the abuses that MVP and other pipelines impose on landowners,” David Sligh
Regulators extend deadline for Mountain Valley Pipeline
August 24, 2022 (Associated Press)
“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,” said David Sligh with the group Wild Virginia.
August 2, 2022 – Manchin negotiates to speed completion of Mountain Valley Pipeline
“There’s an awful lot to save out there from further destruction from Mountain Valley Pipeline and we just think it would wrong for Congress to skip over those protections that were promised.” – David Sligh, Wild Virginia Conservation Director
July 13, 2022 – FERC stirs up Mountain Valley pipeline fight (E&E News)
The agency gave a win to landowners and environmentalists by extending the comment period on the company’s request for more time to complete the natural gas project.
YOU CAN HELP DEFEAT MVP!
Whether you’ve already been active in the Mountain Valley Pipeline opposition movement or not, now is the time to push even harder to stop the project. We can prevent degradation of our precious public lands, further endangerment of rare species, and pollution and habitat destruction in our waters.
3 simple steps to Mountain Valley Pipeline Opposition:
- Make sure you follow our updates and keep informed about what’s happening. Tell your friends, neighbors, and family to do the same.
- Submit comments to let decision-makers know of your interests and concerns. We will give you alerts about how and when to comment, and guidance on what you can say to have an impact.
- Support Wild Virginia’s efforts through your membership and support.
You make it possible for us to continue this work and the results are clear – we all defeated the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in July 2020 and MVP is now at least three years behind schedule. Industry analysts now admit that MVP may never be completed and we intend to make those predictions a reality.
Add a site suitability requirement to Va. code section § 62.1-44.15:81 that includes consideration of environmental justice.
Include bonding/restoration requirements in permit applications for fossil fuel and biogas projects.
Require an individual Virginia Water Pro- tection Permit and Uplands Certification under Article 2.6 of the State Water Con- trol Law for all natural gas transmission pipelines 24 inches inside diameter and greater that are subject to § 7c of the Nat- ural Gas Act.
Require DEQ approval for pipeline vari- ances submitted to FERC that could affect water quality, or impact the 401 certifica- tion (as allowed by federal law).
Increase state review and oversight, via public participation, of pipelines, including those intended to transport biogas.
The above paragraph in pink is from the Virginia Conservation Network. Download the full policy briefing: Our Common Agenda.