With a vast supply of natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale production, the Mountain Valley Pipeline is expected to provide up to two million dekatherms per day (two billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day) of firm transmission capacity to markets in the Mid- and South Atlantic regions of the United States. The MVP will extend from the Equitrans transmission system in Wetzel County, West Virginia, to Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company’s (Transco) Zone 5 compressor station 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. As stated in the formal application, Mountain Valley Pipeline has secured firm commitments for the full capacity of the MVP project under 20-year contracts.
The pipeline will be governed by the United States Natural Gas Act, which requires a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity from the FERC before construction can commence. As currently planned, the pipeline will be up to 42 inches in diameter and will require approximately 50 feet of permanent easement (with up to 125 feet of temporary easement during construction). As proposed, the project will require three compressor stations, with identified locations in Wetzel, Braxton, and Fayette counties of West Virginia.
Project Summary To-Date
On October 23, 2015, Mountain Valley filed a formal application with the FERC for approval to construct, own, and operate the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The application requesting the FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity was received and the MVP project was issued Docket Number CP16-10 on November 5, 2015.
On September 16, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the MVP project. This DEIS comes after more than 27 months of project planning and development, and takes into account the analyzed data from the civil and environmental surveys that have been conducted, as well as the comments, considerations, and concerns of landowners, community members, government agencies, and local elected officials along the proposed route. As part of the process, MVP will continue to work with the various landowners and other stakeholders along the route and will respond to the FERC with the information requested in the DEIS. MVP will also evaluate the public comments on the DEIS, as well as those received during the community meetings. The dates, times, and locations of those meetings are outlined on the FERC Public Meetings tab of the MVP website. The DEIS public comment period will run through December 22, 2016.
Once the meetings are completed and comments are addressed, the FERC will review and issue a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), estimated to arrive on March 10, 2017. After review of the FEIS, the FERC will make a decision on whether to approve the MVP project. Subject to regulatory approvals, the targeted in-service date for the MVP is during the fourth quarter 2018.
Designing the Route
Engineering aspects have included surveying and evaluating various routes to help determine a proposed route with the least overall impact to landowners, cultural and historic resources, and the environment. During the Pre-Filing Review, which began in late October 2014, the MVP team started to conduct environmental surveys, hosted open houses, and participated in FERC scoping meetings, all in an effort to encourage open discussion with community members, landowners, and public agencies. These public meetings generated valuable feedback that helped shape the current route, as proposed in the October 2015 filing.
The proposed MVP route has been carefully designed to utilize existing gas and electric transmission corridors when possible; to avoid sensitive or protected areas when feasible; and to limit surface disturbance and minimize the overall environmental footprint. As part of MVP’s commitment to communities, the project team has considered thousands of miles of alternatives and variations to the proposed route in an effort to alleviate concerns posed by interested and informed stakeholders along the route.
Counties along the proposed MVP route include:
- West Virginia: Braxton, Doddridge, Fayette, Greenbrier, Harrison, Lewis, Monroe, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, and Wetzel
- Virginia: Craig, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, Pittsylvania, and Roanoke
Health, Safety, and Environment:
The Mountain Valley Pipeline project team respects the concerns and opinions of community members; we value each landowner’s property; and we certainly value the safety of our employees, contractors, and every single person that lives in these communities. We want to work with everyone in our Virginia and West Virginia communities to make sure we’re building this pipeline safely and responsibly, and that we’re doing so in a way that has minimal impacts on their land and their daily lives.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Department of Transportation, natural gas pipelines have the best safety record of any energy delivery system in the United States. Mountain Valley Pipeline takes tremendous precautions to ensure the long-term safety of our pipelines – and once the pipeline is operational, we will utilize sophisticated technology to monitor the pipeline, in real time, 24-hours-a-day and 7-days-a-week.
Perhaps most importantly, Mountain Valley believes safety is a core value and number one priority – we have a steadfast commitment to environmental protection and will conduct our business operations in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner at all times.
Economic Benefits for Our Communities:
- Direct Spending: With an estimated capital expense of $3.5 billion, the MVP project anticipates spending $407 million directly in Virginia, and $811 million directly in West Virginia
- Labor & Employment: During peak employment, the MVP project is expected to contribute more than 4,400 jobs to the Virginia economy, and an estimated 4,500 jobs to West Virginia’s economy
- Labor Income: The MVP project will have a positive impact on labor income – contributing an estimated, average employee labor income of $56,200 in Virginia, and a $49,300 average employee labor income in West Virginia
- Tax Revenues: A significant source of state and local tax revenues will be generated during the construction phase, with approximately $34 million generated in Virginia, and $47 million generated in West Virginia
- Ad Valorem Taxes: Once the MVP is operational, counties along the route will continue to receive tax revenues – generating an estimated $7 million in Virginia, and close to $17 million to the counties in West Virginia