RICHMOND, Virginia — Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit granted Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC’s motion to dismiss its appeal of the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board’s decision to deny the company’s requested minor source air permit for the Lambert Compressor Station.
The air board denied the company’s air permit request at a meeting on Dec. 3, 2021, finding that the proposed project would impact an environmental justice community. The board also found that the project application did not comply with Virginia’s air pollution and environmental justice laws, nor with legal precedent established under Friends of Buckingham v. State Air Pollution Control Board (4th Cir. 2020).
The Lambert Compressor Station would move gas along the proposed Mountain Valley Southgate project, which would extend the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) approximately 70 miles from Chatham, Virginia to Alamance, North Carolina.
As of today, MVP has only completed approximately 55% of its construction to full restoration, and the project suffered serious setbacks earlier this year when the 4th Circuit vacated its U.S. Forest Service and Endangered Species Act permits. The MVP Southgate project also lacks a necessary water quality certification from North Carolina, which the NC Department of Environmental Quality has already twice denied.
If approved, the Lambert Compressor Station would have been the third gas-fired compressor station supporting large gas pipelines within the same one-mile radius in Chatham.
“The MVP mainline and the proposed, but not permitted, Lambert Compressor Station and Southgate extension remain unjust, unneeded and harmful to the communities along the route,” said Jessica Sims, Virginia Field Coordinator for Appalachian Voices. ”The air board’s decision to deny a permit for the Lambert Compressor station was the right one, and that is reflected in today’s development. We will continue working to prevent disproportionate impacts to communities like Chatham, who are so often targeted for the development of toxic fossil fuel infrastructure.”
“While today’s decision signals a win for Virginia communities, the MVP is still a troubled project that is billions over budget and years behind schedule,” Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative Caroline Hansley said. “After many attempts to circumvent environmental concerns, MVP is still missing several key federal and state permits, facing legal and regulatory challenges, as well as uncertainty from investors. We will continue to stand with the communities who fought and defeated this attempt to further increase pollution in an already overburdened community.”
Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.