News Release: August 29, 2018
Docket No. CP16-10
MVP Project Authorized to Restart Construction
The Mountain Valley Pipeline was authorized today to resume construction and restoration of roughly 200 miles of its project in Virginia and West Virginia, in order to best protect the environment.
Terry Turpin, Director of FERC’s Office of Energy Projects (OEP), acting under long-standing authority delegated to the Director of OEP, issued a letter today authorizing Mountain Valley to resume construction between mileposts 77 and 303. Turpin said the “specific route of the project no longer seems in question.” On August 23, 2018, the Bureau of Land Management confirmed that the route approved by the certificate order collocates with other right-of-ways to the extent practical as required by the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 and the mandate of the U.S. District Court for the Fourth Circuit.
Roughly 65 percent of the project’s right-of-way between mileposts 77 and 303 has been cleared of vegetation, with a significant portion of that length having been graded. In those cleared and graded segments, Mountain Valley has installed temporary erosion control devices. However, Turpin said that “long-term temporary erosion control measures would subject significant portions of the route to erosion and soil movement” and “would likely pose threats to plant and wildlife habitat and adjacent waterbodies.” Similarly, requiring immediate restoration of the entire right-of-way to pre-construction conditions would require significant additional construction activity, causing further long-term environmental impacts.
Turpin acknowledged that “protection of the environment along the project’s right-of-way across non-federal land is best served by completing construction and restoration activities as quickly as possible.”
Today’s authorization does not apply to federally owned lands for which MVP has not yet obtained the rights-of-way and temporary use permits from the federal government. Those include the crossing of the Weston and Gauley Bridge Turnpike on West Virginia lands owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and land between mileposts 196 and 221, which encompasses the two watersheds containing 3.5 miles of pipeline route across the Jefferson National Forest in West Virginia and Virginia.
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