NORFOLK, VA — Friday, at the request of a coalition of clean water advocates including the Sierra Club and Appalachian Mountain Advocates, the Army Corps of Engineers suspended a permit that the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) must have in order to build through waterways in Virginia. This action follows Tuesday’s federal court ruling throwing out MVP’s stream crossing permit for southern West Virginia, that would have allowed MVP to blast a trench through the important Gauley, Greenbrier, and Elk rivers. Now, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) must halt all work on the pipeline, as FERC’s order approving the project requires that all permits be in place for construction to take place anywhere along its 303-mile route.
The action is the result of a legal challenge brought by attorneys from Appalachian Mountain Advocates on behalf of the Sierra Club, New River Conservancy, Appalachian Voices, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network. That challenge, pending in the 4th United States Circuit Court of Appeals, maintains that MVP is ineligible for the Virginia stream crossing permit that was suspended today.
In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:
“We’ve said it over and over and over again – there is no right way to build these fracked gas pipelines. While we’re pleased to see work on the MVP halted, we won’t stop fighting these dirty, dangerous projects until they are permanently stopped. We cannot allow polluting corporations to lock us into decades of dependence on fracked gas when clean, renewable energy sources are affordable and abundant right now.”
Lara Mack, Virginia Field Coordinator, Appalachian Voices:
“This immediate halt of construction in Virginia and West Virginia is important to the landowners in the pipeline’s path who have carried the burden of experiencing MVP’s faulty construction practices and damage to numerous waterways this year. Their suffering is especially egregious due to the utter lack of evidence that more pipeline capacity is even needed in our region. It is only right that the Corps halt work on the entire devastating project to protect our water quality.”
Anne Havemann, General Counsel, Chesapeake Climate Action Network:
“It’s no surprise that this troubled pipeline has run up against another roadblock, this time in Virginia. MVP has rushed this pipeline through federal and state regulatory processes without allowing time for the proper review. We have always said that there is simply no safe way to build this pipeline and we will keep fighting to protect communities, our climate, and the environment from the unneeded and harmful Mountain Valley Pipeline.”