June 1, 2023

The MVP is Far from Completion – Great Threats Remain for Virginia

The MVP is Far from Completion – Great Threats Remain for Virginia

Decisions about the future of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) must not rest on false claims that the pipeline is almost complete.[1] Virginia would incur a majority of the new damage if construction is allowed to resume.

The table below, based on MVP’s own reports,[2] shows that construction is not finished on 134 miles of the 304-mile pipeline. This includes 88 miles in Virginia sections.[3] MVP admits that erosion and sedimentation continue in these areas until “final restoration” is done[4] and this level of restoration can take months and much effort to achieve, with additional damage to waters and real property.

Some heavy construction activities have yet to commence on approximately 33 miles of pipeline sections in Virginia, where MVP has not completed trenching and/or “backfilling” of trenches. These activities would involve moving more than 3 million cubic feet of dirt[5] with heavy equipment, often on steep slopes and in sensitive streams and wetlands. It would also impact hundreds of private landowners.

New construction in Virginia would also include more than 400 hundred water crossings, where permits would allow “fill” (dirt and other debris) to be discharged to streams and wetlands. These crossings and large amounts of clearing, trenching, and backfilling would hit some streams and watersheds particularly hard. Specifically:

  • In the Stony Creek stream system, which includes critical habitat for the federally Endangered Candy darter, more than 5 miles of trenches would be cut and blasted. The Stony Creek watershed includes part of the Jefferson National Forest.
  • In the small Bottom Creek drainage, MVP would create 68 new discharges into waterbodies (26 to streams, 42 to wetlands). Most of the 6.5-mile section in this drainage has not been trenched. Bottom Creek is a major contributor to the South Fork Roanoke River, which is habitat for the Endangered Roanoke logperch. These fish are highly vulnerable to pipeline sediment pollution.

                                                                        Work not done –           Work not done –

                                                                        entire pipeline              Virginia Spreads

                                                                        (304 miles long)            (109 miles long)                  

Clearing                                                        ~ 12 miles                       ~ 10 miles                             

Trenching                                                    ~ 24 miles                       ~ 20 miles

Backfilling and tying in                            ~ 48 miles                       ~ 33 miles

Final restoration                                        ~ 134 miles                     ~ 88 miles

(Contact for more information: David Sligh, Wild Virginia, david@wildvirginia.org, 434-964-7455)

What can do TODAY:

First, call YOUR Senator, you can call this # to reach your Senator: 877-852-4710

THEN, call the list below! Consider adjusting the message slightly for Republican Senators, mentioning not giving a gift to Manchin, separation of powers, government overreach, etc. 

Short version

““Hi ___, I’m ____ from ___. Please support Sen. Kaine’s amendment to remove Mountain Valley Pipeline from the Fiscal Responsibility Act. We need a clean debt ceiling bill, not one that reduces environmental protections, greenlights the MVP, limits judicial review and hurts working families.”

Long version

“Hi __, I’m __ from __. Please oppose the “Fiscal Responsibility Act” and pass a clean debt ceiling bill. Exempting the Mountain Valley Pipeline from the law and judicial due process is unconscionable and sacrifices impacted communities. Gutting core environmental protections, slashing social safety nets, punishing the working class and forcing completion of the MVP must be rejected. Please support Sen. Kaine’s amendment to remove the MVP and pass a clean debt ceiling – there is enough time for amendments.

Name State Phone Number 
Majority Leader Sen. Chuck SchumerAsk him to allow amendments!!!(202) 224-6542
Sen. Cory Booker (D)NJ(202) 224-3224
Sen. Mark Warner (D) VA(202) 224-2023
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D)IL(202) 224-2854
Sen. Ed Markey (D)MA(202) 224-2742
Sen. Bob Menendez (D)NJ(202) 224-4744
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D)MI(202) 224-4822
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D)GA(202) 224-3643
Sen. Ben Cardin (D)MD(202) 224-4524
Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D)NY(202) 224-4451
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D)HI(202) 224-6361
Sen. Patty Murray  (D)WA(202) 224-2621
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D)MN(202) 224-3244
Sen. Jon Ossoff (D)GA(202) 224-3521
Sen. Alex Padilla (D)CA(202) 224-3553
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D)MI(202) 224-4822
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D)GA(202) 224-3643
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)WA(202) 224-3441
Sen. Ron Wyden (D)OR(202) 224-5244
Sen. John Fetterman (D)PA(202) 224-4254
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D)MD(202) 224-4654
Republican Call List  
Sen. Mitt Romney (R)UT(202) 224-5251
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R)KY(202) 224-2541
Sen. Ted Budd (R)NC(202) 224-3154
Sen. Thom Tillis (R)NC(202) 224-6342
Sen. Katie Boyd Britt (R)AL(202) 224-5744
Sen. J.D. Vance (R)OH(202) 224-3353
Sen. Mike Braun (R)IN(202) 224-4814
Sen. Susan Collins (R)ME(202) 224-2523
Sen. Steve Daines (R)MT(202) 224-2651
Sen. Joni Ernst (R)IA(202) 224-3254
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)SC(202) 224-5972
Sen. Ron Johnson (R)WI(202) 224-5323
Sen. Mike Lee (R)UT(202) 224-5444

[1] ‘Terrible public policy’: Why the debt deal infuriates climate activists, Timothy Puko, Washington Post, May 29, 2023. Senator Manchin claims just 20 miles left to complete.

[2] MVP status report to FERC, February 27, 2023, (status has not changed since late 2021).

[3] The pipeline is divided into segments called “Spreads.” Spreads G, H, and I include 109 miles; about 106 miles in Virginia.

[4] Mountain Valley Pipeline at a stalemate: What’s next?, Mike Soraghan, March 27, 2023. MVP spokesperson: “The most effective way to protect against erosion and sedimentation is to fully restore the right-of-way.

[5] This total includes 20 miles where trenches would be opened by digging or blasting; on all 33 miles MVP would do “backfilling and tying in.” According to MVP’s “Plan of Development,” (p. 34) trenches are to be at least 6.5 feet deep and at least 4.5 feet wide. For the 20 miles to be trenched, this would equal about 3.1 million cubic feet.