A controversial project that residents have been fighting against, has now been given the green light. On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulators approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline project.
“It’s not a surprise because FERC, the regulatory agency, is stacked with former fossil fuel executives or people who worked in the industry. So, they don’t typically ever say no,” said Fayette county resident and protester, Elliott Pritt.
However, Fayette county residents are hoping that the County Commission says no. Mountain Valley Pipeline developers say they plan to install a compressor station within Stallworth that would transport natural gas. The pipeline would then run through several counties in West Virginia including Fayette and Greenbrier county.
“This brings your property value down. Your insurance companies can cancel your insurance policies if you’re within the danger zone of the pipeline. These are all unfair things brought on West Virginia once again. We’re just allowing people to rape us and leave us,” said Kristine Gillkey, a member of Head Waters Defense.
According to one of the developers, EQT Midstream Partners, this Mountain Valley Pipeline project will bring more revenue to the county, as well as job opportunities. But, residents say they are not buying it. Gillkey added, “Those are all just “pipelies”, jobs? Yes, jobs that are temporary. Jobs that will last months and then move on.”
Mountain Valley Pipeline Officials issued this statement to WOAY:
On Friday, October 13, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. This Certificate follows more than three years of project planning, development, and review; and it recognizes the clear public need for this important energy infrastructure project. The MVP team has worked diligently with stakeholders, including landowners, community members, local officials, and state and federal agencies, to identify the best possible route for the proposed 303-mile underground pipeline. The Certificate comes after a Final Environment Impact Statement (FEIS), issued in June 2017, which concluded that adverse environmental impacts from construction/operation would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of FERC-recommended mitigation measures. The FEIS also noted MVP’s adoption of hundreds of route adjustments, the majority of which were based on various landowner requests, avoidance of sensitive and/or cultural and historic resources, or engineering considerations.
The FERC engaged in a comprehensive review of the project and we are, of course, pleased with their decision to issue the Certificate. Importantly, the MVP project teams looks forward to continued cooperation with federal, state, and local agencies as we work toward satisfying all permitting requirements.
We respectfully disagree with Commissioner LaFleur’s dissent. The Order correctly agreed with the robust analysis of the environmental impacts and technical considerations related to the combining of the MVP and ACP projects as outlined in the FEIS. After thorough analysis of both project’s data, the FEIS and the Order correctly found that combining the two projects “is not technically feasible or practical” as it would triple air quality impacts due to the need for additional compression, or require an increase to the construction right-of-way of 30′ or more, which is not available or practical in this terrain.
Furthermore, and in regard to capacity need, the MVP began its pre-filing process with the FERC three years ago, at which time the MVP project was already fully subscribed. When MVP filed its certificate application with the FERC, we also filed executed precedent agreements for the full capacity of the MVP project. In addition, the MVP project team prepared and filed two demand-analysis reports, the results of which concluded there is more than enough demand for natural gas in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions to support the MVP project capacity, as well as other planned gas transportation capacity expansions that would serve those markets, including the ACP project. MVP’s executed precedent agreements, together with the energy market supply and demand studies, are strong demonstrations of the need for the MVP project.
The MVP team appreciates the strong support that the project has received throughout the communities of Virginia and West Virginia. With a project start date targeted for later this year and an in-service date targeted for late 2018, Mountain Valley looks forward to responsibly meeting public demand for clean, affordable natural gas along the route, and in the growing demand markets of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions of the United States.
As of right now, the fate of the project remains in the commission’s hands. Gillkey says she urges Fayette County to come together as a family and take action. She is hoping the commission votes no.