The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a 300 mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, West Virginia and Pittsylvania County, Virginia.1 The pipeline would bring up to two million dekatherms of natural gas to the mid and south Atlantic regions. The construction was first proposed back on October 23, of 2015. U.S. pipeline company Equitrans Midstream Corp, owner of the MVP filed formal applications with The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in order to construct, own and operate the MVP. Currently, 92% is complete, however the majority of the project is in West Virginia. Fortunately construction has been halted until the summer 2022.2 Likewise the company has barely started in Virginia, as only about 15.75 miles this comes from legal fights with environmental and local groups that found issues with federal permits.3
What Issues come with the Mountain Valley Pipeline
The Construction of this pipeline plans on cutting through six southwestern Virginia Counties, this includes: Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin, and Pittsylvania. It would also cut through part of the Appalachian trail. This project comes with significant environmental impacts for the surrounding counties and towns. One of the most prominent effects to the environment is loss of vegetation. The pipeline needs 125 foot wide clearance and 50 feet of clearance above the pipeline. Large vegetation clearance such as that displaces and kills many animal species.4 (MVP) also plans on crossing multiple bodies of water. In doing so, it would create a greater risk of erosion and sediment runoff into the streams. Virginians depend on clean water in order for public and recreational health. Other issues: landslides, greenhouse emission.
2.“Draft Environmental Impact Statement- Mountain Valley Project and Equitrans Expansion Project | Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.” n.d. Accessed November 16, 2021. https://www.ferc.gov/draft-environmental-impact-statement-mountain-valley-project-and-equitrans-expansion-project.
3.“October 11, 2019 – MVP, LLC to Pay More Than $2 Million, Submit To Court-Ordered Compliance And Enhanced, Independent, Third-Party Environmental Monitoring.” n.d. Accessed November 16, 2021. https://www.oag.state.va.us/media-center/news-releases/1548-october-11-2019.
4.Phillips, Spencer, and Key-Log Economics. n.d. “Reason for Caution: Mountain Valley Pipeline Economic Studies Overestimate Benefits, Downplay Costs,” 18.