Mountain Valley Pipeline’s Future Remains Uncertain
If keeping up with the news on the Mountain Valley Pipeline is making your head spin, you are not alone!
What’s Next? FERC’s denial of MVP’s request to bore under streams and wetlands sent the company back to the drawing board. Considering their limited options, with their Nationwide 12 permit ensnared in legal issues, MVP announced their intent to apply for an individual permit to cross streams and wetlands and abandon the blanket Nationwide 12 permit. This approach requires them to request site-specific permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, VA DEQ and WV DEP, an approach that WV Rivers and other environmental groups had been saying was necessary from the beginning.
It will now be up to the individual states to certify whether the project can cross the approximately 500 remaining waterbodies and still comply with water quality standards. That will be a tough argument considering just last week MVP was fined $300,000 by WVDEP for violating water quality standards.
In the Consent Order, that is now open for public comment, the WVDEP cited 29 separate violations from February 2019 to September 2020 detailing failing erosion control measures that impacted the water quality in rivers and streams. These impacts occurred during the time that MVP was prohibited from crossing streams. If they can’t protect water quality when they are not working directly in streams, that doesn’t instill a lot of confidence that they will comply with water quality standards during in-stream construction.
Stay tuned to WV Rivers, we’ll be sharing an action alert to submit your comments to WVDEP on MVP’s $300,000 fine. And we’ll keep you informed as MVP moves through the WVDEP water quality certification process.