Mountain Valley Pipeline Requests In-Service Approval as Completion Nears

(P&GJ) — The Mountain Valley Pipeline is on the verge of completion, with the company seeking federal approval to commence operations, The Roanoke Times reported.

Although some final touches are pending, the company submitted a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on April 22 to expedite the process and issue an order by May 23.

Matthew Eggerding, deputy general counsel of the pipeline's joint venture, affirmed in a letter to the FERC that all waterbody and wetland crossings across the project have been completed according to The Roanoke Times.

This announcement marks a significant advancement for the project, which has encountered prolonged delays and legal battles over the past six years due to environmental concerns. Despite opposition from groups like the Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights coalition, the project gained momentum after Congress passed legislation declaring it a matter of national interest. The move limited future legal challenges and facilitated the swift completion of the 303-mile pipeline spanning West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.

According to Roanoke Times, Eggerding emphasized the urgency of FERC's approval to finalize preparations for the pipeline's operation and for customers to make necessary arrangements. The project, spearheaded by five energy companies, including a subsidiary of RGC Resources, aims to meet the growing demand for natural gas and expand services into Franklin County.

Acknowledging concerns regarding the pipeline's integrity, Eggerding assured that all requirements outlined in the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration's consent order have been met. While significant progress has been made in completing crossings of streams and wetlands, some segments remain unfinished, with completion expected by early May.

Despite the progress, environmental issues persist, with regulatory violations cited in various sections of the pipeline's route. Critics continue to voice concerns over the environmental impact and safety of the project, highlighting what they perceive as government negligence in addressing climate change in favor of fossil fuel interests.

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