Mountain Valley Pipeline suspends construction

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia has been halted to address some soil erosion problems. Officials said Friday that the suspension is expected to be temporary for the natural gas pipeline’s installation. Construction will resume with approval from Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality. DEQ officials said in a statement that the pipeline will direct crews to enhance and restore erosion and sediment controls along the route. Pipeline officials said in a statement that recent heavy rainfall affected crews’ abilities to control erosion. Pipeline officials said they take their “environmental stewardship responsibilities very seriously.” The approximately $3.5 billion, 300-mile pipeline will run through West Virginia and Virginia. It’s scheduled to be in service by the end of the year. A
number of legal challenges against it are pending.

Virginia DEQ News release: Based on issues identified during inspections and complaint inspections by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project team has agreed to temporarily suspend pipeline installation in Virginia. To ensure proper soil erosion and sediment controls are implemented, MVP will direct crews to enhance and restore controls along the pipeline route.

All related construction activities within the project’s right of way (a 125-foot wide construction corridor) will resume only after MVP receives approval by DEQ. A list of investigated sites is available on the DEQ website (www.DEQ.Virginia.gov/MVP). DEQ inspectors will continue to be on site to monitor and review pipeline construction throughout the project.

The public is welcome to email complaints to MountainValleyPipeline@DEQ.Virginia.gov or submit pollution reports on the DEQ website at www.DEQ.Virginia.gov/MVP. Public comments, complaints and concerns will be investigated as DEQ receives them.

Mountain Valley Pipeline statement: “Since inception of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project, the MVP team has been closely coordinating with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) to ensure appropriate soil erosion and sediment controls were implemented, and restored where necessary, along the pipeline route. After direct consultation with VDEQ, and in light of the recent extraordinary rainfall experienced in Virginia, we have agreed to temporarily suspend pipeline installation activities, including welding, trenching, and stringing of pipe, in Virginia. The MVP project team takes its environmental stewardship responsibilities very seriously and wants to redirect its work efforts to focus exclusively on erosion controls affected by recent weather events. As the controls are enhanced and restored at given points along the route, MVP will continue to coordinate with VDEQ to resume full pipeline construction activities in those areas.”

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