Cat McCue, 434-293-6373, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Sims, email@example.com, 804-356-1228
In a snub to thousands of Appalachian landowners and others seeking to stop the unneeded, dangerous Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late today voted 2-1 to extend its certificate for the project by two years, and simultaneously lifted its stop-work order for construction on all but 25 miles across national forest land. The developer, MVP, LLC, which is led by Equitrans, had recently asked for both the extension and the lifting of the stop-work order. Commissioner Richard Glick dissented on both approvals.
The Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity issued by FERC was due to expire Tuesday, October 13. During a recent public comment period on MVP, LLC’s request for the extension, more than 43,000 people had sent FERC their objections, noting among other things that the company had racked up at least 350 environmental violations and $2.26 million in fines in Virginia and West Virginia so far.
FERC issued the stop-work order last October following a federal court rejection of an endangered species permit for the project. The pipeline remains at least half unfinished, with the hardest work yet remaining on hundreds of water crossings in both states and the steepest slopes over the Blue Ridge mountains. Three years after it was first permitted by FERC, the MVP still lacks a key federal permit and other permits remain in litigation, and is drawing increasing skepticism from financial analysts.
Statement from Jessica Sims, Appalachian Voices Virginia Field Coordinator:
“It’s clear that MVP is pulling out all the stops to rush this project through, and FERC is letting them get away with it. The agency ignored the 43,000 people who vigorously opposed this project moving forward, and disregarded the hundreds of water quality violations racked up so far. This pipeline was not needed when it was proposed, and is even less needed now. We will continue fighting to stop it.”
Additional quotes from partner groups can be found here.