FERC authorizes Mountain Valley Pipeline operations

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved Equitrans Midstream Corp. to commence operations on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, concluding years of regulatory and legal challenges.

Catherine Morehouse reports for POLITICO.


In short:

  • FERC’s approval confirms the pipeline’s compliance with environmental and safety regulations.
  • The pipeline, transporting natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia, has faced significant opposition from environmental groups.
  • Legal and regulatory hurdles included a 2023 safety warning and a 2022 debt ceiling deal that facilitated the project’s continuation.

Key quote:

“Mountain Valley has adequately stabilized the areas disturbed by construction and that restoration and stabilization of the construction work area is proceeding satisfactorily.’”

— Terry Turpin, director of the Office of Energy Projects at FERC

Why this matters:

The pipeline is expected to transport up to 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, addressing growing demands in the southeastern United States. However, environmentalists have raised concerns about the potential impacts on ecosystems, water quality, and public health. The pipeline’s route traverses the Appalachian Mountains, a region known for its biodiversity and delicate ecosystems. Critics argue that construction and operation could lead to habitat destruction, soil erosion, and water contamination, particularly affecting rural and indigenous communities.

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