Regulators Decline Reconsidering MVP and Atlantic Coast Pipeline Water Permits

A regulatory panel declined a request to consider re-evaluating or revoking water-quality permits for two natural gas pipelines after environmental groups, landowners, and other critics argued the Corps’ review process being overly broad.

The Department of Environmental Quality defended the process, and both pipeline companies say the review has been rigorous.

Initially, the board weighted a motion to consider revoking the permits but voted it down.

The State Water Control Board met Tuesday in Richmond to consider the comments it solicited earlier this year regarding the permits granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines.

Staff from the DEQ gave an overview of the thousands of comments received in addition to having the board hear from attendees of the hearing which was raucous and contentious at times.

The Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines have gathered many opponents because of their routes and have battled setbacks involving permits.

Source:
Radio IQ

Three Protestors Arrested After Locking Themselves to Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction Equipment

Three protestors from Massachusetts were arrested after locking themselves to pipeline construction equipment in West Virginia in attempt to stop or delay the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline.

The three bound themselves to tunnel and earth-moving machinery on Monday, according to state police. They were arrested on charges of trespassing, obstructing an officer, and resisting arrest.

It took authorities nearly two hours to set 18-year-old Sydney Patricia White, 21-year-old Evin Tyler Uger, and 25-year-old Maxwell Harry Shaw free from the machinery, according to state police.

Each person was released on $1,500 bond.

The Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline has seen many other acts of protest such as legal challenges and tree-sit protests, but nothing has terminated construction of the 300-mile line that is projected to run from West Virginia into North Carolina, crossing through several counties in Virginia.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

More Protestors Settle in Aerial Blockades to Protest Mountain Valley Pipeline

In a series of aerial blockades against the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, another protestor has perched herself in a tree in Giles County, Virginia after being inspired by others who have done the same.

Fern MacDougal is one of at least five who are posted on platforms anchored to trees or poles along the Mountain Valley Pipeline route in Virginia and West Virginia in attempt to delay or halt construction of the project. Others have preceded them but came down from their posts to avoid having to pay fines or face legal action.

MacDougal told reporters from her cellphone that she thinks the protests are catching on and hopes enough protest will stop the pipeline. She said she has a reserve of food and water on her four-by-eight-foot platform that sits 30 feet in the air, but is not sure how long she will stay in the tree.

MacDougal said she was inspired to protest by a woman called Nutty who has been occupying a blockade anchored from a 50-foot pole since March 28.

Mountain Valley officials have said the protests are not yet affecting the timing of construction for the 303-mile pipeline project, which is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Source:
The Roanoke Times

Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction Halted in Virginia After Severe Erosion

Virginia regulators have halted construction on part of the Mountain Valley Pipeline that got swamped by a large rainstorm, requiring that erosion control measures be established before resuming construction.

Unearthed soil that had been cleared along the natural gas pipeline's right of way in Franklin County was swept away by heavy rains on Thursday night and Friday morning, layering up to eight inches of mud on nearby roads.

The mud did not reach waterways, according to Mountain Valley officials, but the Department of Environmental Quality is investigating how erosion control measures failed to prevent the incident.

MVP said it began remediation activities immediately after the incident and remains committed to safe and responsible construction of the project.

The 303-mile natural gas pipeline is designed to move Marcellus and Utica shale production from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.

Source:
The Roanoke Times

Pipeline Protestors Perched in Trees for Five Weeks Come Down after Judge Threatens to Levy Fines

Two protestors who were perched high in trees in West Virginia for five weeks to protest the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline came down after a federal judge threatened to levy heavy daily fines and give the money to the pipeline builders.

The mother and daughter pair camped nearly 60 feet above ground in trees since April 2 and endured subfreezing temperatures, high winds, snow, and rain to delay and possibly stop construction work related to the 303-mile pipeline.

The two came down after a federal judge last Friday said she would impose a $1,000 fine against each woman for every day they continued to defy the court's order to come down from the trees by 11:59 PM Saturday.

The two came down after learning the money would go to the pipeline builders, which angered them. They said they would not give up the fight and would continue the protest in other ways.

The Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline is being built by several companies led by EQT Midstream Partners and is designed to move gas from West Virginia to southwest Virginia.

Source:
The Washington Post

Doctors Seeking to Assist Pipeline Protestors in Trees Turned Away by Authorities

Two Virginia doctors were turned away by authorities on Saturday when seeking to assist a 61-year-old woman who has spent four weeks in a tree in attempt to stop construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

One of the doctors spoke to the woman from behind police tape away from the tree on Bent Mountain in attempt to learn about her current medical state and provide medical advice. He determined she was medically fine but encouraged her to stand up and take the tarp off the roof to get sunlight.

Her husband also attempted to bring her vitamins and skin cream, but Roanoke County police refused those as well.

The doctors are concerned about the risks of remaining overly sedentary in the tree stands as well as the continuous exposure to damp conditions.

The woman, Theresa Terry, and her daughter have been protesting the 300-mile Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline that is designed to run from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia. Construction workers cannot tear down trees in the area while the two women are perched in trees along the route.

A spokesperson for Roanoke County says the two women are in violation of a federal court order that warrants their arrest. If they come down from the trees, they will be arrested.

Source:
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Mountain Valley Pipeline Developers Request Federal Action Against Pipeline Protestors in Trees

Developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline are asking a federal judge to find a family of protestors in western Virginia in contempt of court and to remove them from the tree stands where they are protesting to keep the pipeline out of their land.

Mountain Valley Pipeline developers said last week that members of the Terry family are violating a court order that prohibits them from interfering with easements granted to the pipeline developers for the 300-mile natural gas pipeline.

Two Terry family members have been protesting in two separate trees for weeks by occupying tree stands within the easements, which is preventing construction crews from working in the area.

Local authorities issued arrest warrants last week for the two protestors, but no one has yet tried to remove the protestors by force.

Source:
Washington Post

Virginia Regulators Want to Hear Publics' Opinion on NatGas Pipeline Reviews

Virginia regulators are asking for the public's opinion about whether they believe the water quality approvals granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for two natural gas pipelines are sound enough to protect the state's waterways.

The State Water Control Board last week approved a 30-day period for the public to comment on the approvals for both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines that are designed to travel through Virginia.

Opponents of the pipeline projects have argued that the Corps' review process was not detailed enough and that the Department of Environmental Quality should have studied the pipelines' effects stream by stream.

The Department of Environmental Quality said its review and the Corps' review of the projects will be adequately protective.

The department said it would provide the public details on how to comment on the review in "the near future."

Source:
Houston Chronicle

Mountain Valley NatGas Pipeline Receives Key Step Forward from Virginia Regulators

The Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline has been granted another key step forward by Virginia environmental regulators, allowing for full-scale construction in the state.

The state Department of Environmental Quality said Monday that it approved erosion, sediment, and stormwater control plans for the 300-mile pipeline project.

Trees have already been cut in the state to clear the way for the pipeline that will travel from West Virginia through southwest Virginia, and now full-scale construction can begin.

Opponents of the pipeline say digging trenches along steep mountain slopes will contaminate water supply.

The pipeline is also facing protestors in West Virginia who are camping dozens of feet up in trees along the route in an attempt to at least delay, if not stop, pipeline construction.

Source:
The News Tribune

Tree-Sit Protest Against Mountain Valley NatGas Pipeline Gains Traction

As the tree-sitting protests against the Mountain Valley Pipeline continue in West Virginia, the U.S. Forest Service has established the Caldwell Fields Campground in the Jefferson National Forest as a safe spot for protest supporters to gather.

The campground is located miles from where two tree-sitters are located atop Peters Mountain in the state.

The tree-sit protest started February 26 as an attempt to at least delay the proposed 300-mile Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline that is designed to run through both West Virginia and Virginia, and the protestors' efforts are gaining attention quickly via social media.

The pipeline developer said it is entitled to build the pipeline after receiving approval from the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Federal Energy Regulation Commission.

The Forest Service has the right to force the removal of the protestors from what is technically a no-trespassing area, but authorities have not come to a conclusion on what is the safest way to remove the protestors that are perched in two trees 60 feet above the ground next to where the pipeline would cross the Appalachian Trail.

Source:
The Roanoke Times

Judge Lifts Restraining Order Against Mountain Valley NatGas Pipeline Protestors

Monroe County Circuit Judge Robert Irons has lifted a restraining order against protestors sitting in trees along the proposed Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline route in West Virginia.

Judge Irons' ruling comes less than two weeks after he granted Mountain Valley Pipeline's request for a temporary restraining order against protestors who the pipeline company argues are preventing construction crews from cutting trees along the pipeline's path in time to meet a March 31 deadline.

In his ruling to lift the restraining order, Judge Irons highlighted concerns about the pipeline map's accuracy as well as questioned the urgency to reach a decision over two trees along the 300-mile pipeline route.

Two opponents of the natural gas pipeline have been perched about 60 feet above the ground in trees on Peters Mountain in West Virginia since early March in hopes to at least delay construction on the project that they believe will damage land and waters.

Source:
Houston Chronicle

Restraining Order Hits NatGas Pipeline Protestors Perched in Trees

Protestors sitting in trees along the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline route have been hit with a restraining order by a Monroe County Circuit Court Judge, as requested by the pipeline company.

The restraining order was sought by the builders of the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline who argue that the protestors are preventing them from being able to cut trees along the pipeline's path in time to meet a March 31 deadline imposed by federal wildlife protections.

Two opponents of the natural gas pipeline have been perched about 60 feet above the ground in trees on Peters Mountain in West Virginia for more than a week in hopes to at least delay construction on the project that they believe will damage land and waters.

The restraining order does not give authorities instructions on how to remove the protestors from the trees, which is being contemplated by law officials.

Mountain Valley Pipeline has requested for a preliminary injunction that could last longer than the restraining order, which is only effective for 10 days. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Source:
The Roanoke Times

Protestors Sit in Trees Along Mountain Valley Pipeline Route in Attempt to Halt Project

Protestors are sitting in trees along the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline route in an attempt to delay and ultimately halt construction on the project.

Two opponents of the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline have been perched about 60 feet above the ground in trees on Peters Mountain in West Virginia since Monday in hopes to at least delay construction on the project.

Mountain Valley has already begun cutting down trees in preparation for construction in Giles County, located right across the state line of West Virginia where the tree sit is taking place.

Mountain Valley has received approval from FERC to cut down trees in certain areas along the 303-mile route, including Giles County, but still awaits approval from FERC and the Forest Service to cut down trees on national forestland where the protestors are sitting.

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline argue the project would destroy water, mountains, forests, and family farms throughout Virginia and West Virginia.

The $3.7 billion Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline, designed to travel from West Virginia to Virginia, is owned by EQT Midstream Partners with partners NextEra, Con Edison Transmission, WGL Midstream, and RGC Midstream.

Source:
The Roanoke Times
Mountain Valley Pipeline

FERC Grants Approval for Preliminary Construction on Parts of Mountain Valley Pipeline

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Monday approved preliminary construction for parts of the 300-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia.

FERC's approval marks the first time the natural gas pipeline met all requirements for preliminary construction anywhere along the proposed route from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.

FERC has not yet given the same permissions for the part that crosses through Virginia.

The approval for preliminary construction on parts of the pipeline comes after FERC issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the project in October 2017. The certificate recognizes a clear public need for the energy infrastructure project.

Legal challenges against the pipeline are pending, however, and at least two state agencies have yet to sign off on it.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline is a joint venture of EQT Midstream Partners, NextEra US Gas Assets, Con Edison Transmission, WGL Midstream, and RGC Midstream. EQT Midstream Partners will operate the pipeline and own a significant interest in the joint venture.

Source:
The Roanoke Times
Mountain Valley Pipeline

Mountain Valley Pipeline Jumps Last Major Regulatory Hurdle in Virginia

The Virginia State Water Control Board approved permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), one of the two proposed natural gas pipelines to cross the state.

The approval is the last major regulatory hurdle for the project led by EQT Midstream Partners.

MVP is under intense scrutiny from environmentalists and other groups who argue the project would threaten ecosystems. Some groups also question the company's use of eminent domain to take property.

EQT Midstream argues the pipeline will provide needed capacity for distributing natural gas.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality said the regulatory process for MVP has been the most rigorous "to which a proposed pipeline ever has been subjected in Virginia."

If built, the MVP would span about 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia, supplying natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

EQT estimates the pipeline to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2018.

Source:
Washington Post

West Virginia Regulator Rescinds Approval of Mountain Valley Pipeline

West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is rescinding approval for construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, it said in a letter Thursday.

The environmental regulator said it is vacating the water quality certification that it issued in March as a way to allow the agency to re-evaluate the application to decide if the state's certification is in compliance with Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.

A spokesperson for the state's DEP said that the information used to issue the certificate needs to be further evaluated and enhanced.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, whose main developer is EQT Corp, is estimated to cost $3.5 billion and is designed to carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

EQT is also awaiting an approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Source:
SF Gate