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MVP says it's completed construction, asks federal government for authorization to begin transporting gas

Poor Mountain in Montgomery County, Va. along the Mountain Valley Pipeline route, taken in May.
Protect Our Water, Heritage Rights
Poor Mountain in Montgomery County, Va. along the Mountain Valley Pipeline route, taken in May.

This story was reported and written by Radio IQ.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline says it has completed construction and all testing on the 303 mile pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia. In a one-page letter Monday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, MVP requested to go in service and begin running gas, and asked the agency to approve authorization within 24 hours.

The company says it has contracts with multiple shippers to begin transporting gas a day after authorization. MVP said market demands heighten the need for, quote, “prompt authorization.”

In response, a coalition of organizations that oppose the pipeline, called Protect our Water, Heritage, Rights sent FERC a letter, saying granting MVP’s request within 24 hours would erode public trust. The group is asking MVP and FERC to respond to questions raised about the pipeline’s safety, and provide more transparency to the public.

Since April, over a hundred people, 23 Virginia lawmakers, and 3 county governments have submitted comments to federal regulators, with concerns about MVP’s plans to go in service soon. Many point to a 2023 consent order with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which requires MVP to do extra testing.

MVP said they’ve satisfied all aspects of PHMSA’s consent order that are necessary to begin running gas.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline was first proposed in 2014, with an original projected cost of $3.5 billion, and the company building it said it would be completed by 2018. The pricetag has more than doubled to $7.85 billion.

Lawsuits and other delays plagued the pipeline. Last summer, Congress inserted a section into the Fiscal Responsibility Act which put MVP on the fast track to completion, and ordered agencies to grant approval.

Roxy Todd

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