Four agencies, three federal and one state, have moved forward to the next step in their respective regulatory approval processes despite the incomplete status of the information required from Mountain Valley Pipeline by each of those agencies.
At its monthly meeting on Thursday, July 6, the Craig County Board of Supervisors voted to prepare and send letters of objection and project opposition to the United States Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ). The Board acted on this based on recommendations made by its Pipeline Advisory Committee.
Five main points will be communicated, as appropriate, to each of the four agency letters;
1. CCBoS objection to the project itself and to the regulatory process.
2. Seek agency extension of the regulatory process comment period. The Committee believes that the four agencies are fast tracking the process. Not all public hearings have been concluded and at least the comment period should be extended an additional time period of no less than 45 days from the last public hearing which VDEQ will conduct on August 9, 2017.
3. Lack of scientific review by the four agencies. The Committee continues to review the information provided by correspondences dated June 23, 2017 regarding the approval of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and open comment period leading to possible approval of the project. Based on information reviewed to date, the Committee believes that the four agencies relied entirely on information provided by the applicant – MVP, and failed to adequately consider scientific data provided by competent third parties in response to the various agencies’ requests.
4. The MVP project has the potential to have significant impact the region’s environment and the cultural and economic lives of our community. Some examples to date are that MVP will not be required to comply with certain erosion issue, MVP will be allowed to cut and remove old growth trees in the Jefferson National Forest, and the pipeline will impact the view shed of the Appalachian Trail.
5. If approved, each agency should require an irrevocable performance bond to cover any costs to citizens, local, state and federal governments caused by the project and its eventual removal.
-Submitted by Pipeline Advisory Committee Members