FERC plans June release
The federal agency reviewing the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline announced Friday that it plans to release the final environmental impact statement for the project in June.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission set the release for June 23, which would trigger a 90-day deadline for a decision by the commission about whether to authorize the $3.5 billion pipeline project. The deadline date specified by FERC is Sept. 21.
The release of the final environmental impact statement will represent a major step forward toward the possible approval of the 42-inch-diameter buried natural gas pipeline. FERC currently lacks a quorum to make pipeline decisions but that could change by September, as President Donald Trump could nominate as many as three new commissioners.
The 303-mile route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline would take it through 11 counties in West Virginia and six in Virginia: Giles, Montgomery, Craig, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania.
The proposed pipeline has received support from Gov. Terry McAuliffe and others who suggest it would boost economic development. But there also has been fierce resistance along the route of the pipeline. Opponents cite a host of concerns, ranging from the project’s inevitable environmental effects to fears about pipeline ruptures and anger that Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC would have access to federal eminent domain to acquire easements across private property.
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