A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Energy Report

Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate Public Comment Period Begins

woman next to pipeline marker

Katie Whitehead next to a marker for one of the Williams Transco pipelines on her property. Her property is also being targeted by Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate. Read her story here. Photo by Kevin Ridder

On July 26, federal regulators issued a draft environmental impact statement for the Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate extension. The project would extend the unfinished 303-mile fracked-gas pipeline by another 73 miles from Pittsylvania County, Va., into North Carolina’s Rockingham and Alamance counties, and would require a new compressor station to be built at the Virginia starting point.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be accepting public comments on the draft environmental impact statement through Sept. 16.

In a June 3 letter, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality denied a key water quality permit for the proposed 73-mile MVP Southgate extension. The state permit, required under the federal Clean Water Act, would allow the pipeline company to temporarily or permanently impact multiple streams, wetlands and more than eight acres of protected riparian buffers in the Haw River watershed.

The agency wrote that it had twice informed the pipeline company that its November 2018 permit application was incomplete. The agency also noted that crucial information it needed to assess water impacts would not be available until after FERC released the draft environmental statement, and that Mountain Valley could reapply for the permit after the statement is issued.

Staff at Appalachian Voices, the publisher of this newspaper, and other organizations are currently reviewing the draft environmental impact statement for Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate. For updates on their analysis as it is available, check appvoices.org.