The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week pulled a significant permit for the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia in order to determine if it is at odds with West Virginia environmental rules.
The permit, called the Nationwide Permit 12, gives developers of the pipeline the authority to discharge and fill materials into several rivers at 591 locations along the route.
Reconciling the Nationwide Permit is a difficult task and could significantly delay the project, according to Katie Bays, an energy analyst in D.C.
The project is also dealing with a lawsuit that was filed by the Sierra Club who argues the project violates West Virginia rules.
If Mountain Valley regains the Nationwide Permit but still loses the Sierra Club lawsuit, the 303-mile pipeline may be required to reroute around three rivers in West Virginia, which could delay the project by a year.
The $3.5 billion project is being headed by EQT Midstream along with several other partners.