The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project is a natural gas pipeline system that spans approximately 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia – and as an interstate pipeline will be regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The MVP will be constructed and owned by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (Mountain Valley), which is a joint venture between Equitrans Midstream Corporation; NextEra Capital Holdings, Inc.; Con Edison Transmission, Inc.; WGL Midstream MVP LLC; and RGC Midstream, LLC. Equitrans Midstream will operate the pipeline and own a significant interest in the joint venture.
With a vast supply of natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale production, the MVP 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. Under 20-year contracts, Mountain Valley has secured firm commitments for the full capacity of the MVP.
The pipeline will be governed by the United States Natural Gas Act. As designed, the pipeline will be 42 inches in diameter and will require approximately 50 feet of permanent easement (with up to 125 feet of temporary easement during construction). The MVP project will require three compressor stations, located in Wetzel, Braxton, and Fayette counties of West Virginia.
Designing the MVP Route
Engineering aspects included surveying and evaluating various routes to help determine a final 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 began conducting environmental surveys, hosted 16+ community 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, which was 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 considered thousands of miles of alternatives and variations to the route in an effort to alleviate concerns posed by interested and informed stakeholders. Counties along the 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 MVP project team respects the concerns and opinions of community members; we value each landowner’s property; and we value the safety of our employees, contractors, and all those who live in our local communities. It is important that we work together with the members of our Virginia and West Virginia communities – reassuring them that we are constructing this pipeline safely and responsibly and striving to minimize impacts on their land and their day-to-day activities.
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 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.
Mountain Valley maintains its steadfast commitment to environmental protection and will conduct our business operations in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner at all times. Safety has always been, and will remain, our number one priority.
On October 23, 2015, Mountain Valley filed a formal application with the FERC for approval to construct, own, and operate the MVP. 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 FERC issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the MVP project and on October 13, 2016, the MVP project team filed an updated route with the FERC, known as the MVP October 2016 Proposed Route, which reflected numerous route adjustments to mitigate concerns raised during public comment periods.
On June 23, 2017, the FERC issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the MVP project. The FEIS considers and includes the analyzed data from civil and environmental surveys that have been conducted, as well as the comments, considerations, and concerns of landowners, community members, government agencies, and located elected officials. MVP’s FEIS concluded that adverse environmental impacts from construction/operation would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of FERC-recommended mitigation measures. The FEIS also noted MVP’s adoption of hundreds of route adjustments, the majority of which were based on various landowner requests, avoidance of sensitive and/or cultural and historic resources, or engineering considerations.
Following issuance of the FEIS, the FERC issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the MVP project on October 13, 2017. This Certificate follows more than three years of project planning, development, and review; and it recognizes the clear public need for this important energy infrastructure project. The MVP team worked diligently with stakeholders, including landowners, community members, local officials, and state and federal agencies to identify the best possible route for the 303-mile underground pipeline.
MVP construction began in 2018 after the project secured each of its necessary permits and authorizations. Since the start of construction, industry opponents continued to challenge MVP’s previously authorized and issued permits through ongoing litigation, placing their specific policy agendas above that of environmental protection and national energy security. These challenges caused not only delays for the project, but more importantly caused lengthier, unnecessary disruption for property owners along the route and inhibited MVP’s ability to complete the project and fully restore the right-of-way, which is the best method of protection for the environment.
As of spring 2023, total project work for MVP was roughly 94 percent complete, which included all work on the project’s three compressor stations and its three original interconnect facilities, with the additional Greene interconnect mechanically complete, as well as roughly 282 miles of pipe welded and in-place, and more than half of the right-of-way fully restored.
On June 3, 2023, the President of the United States signed legislation that raised the Nation’s debt limit and ratified and approved all permits and authorizations necessary for the construction and initial operation of the MVP and directed the applicable federal agencies to maintain such authorizations. Mountain Valley is grateful for the full support of the White House, as well as the strong leadership of Democratic and Republican legislators for recognizing the MVP as a critical energy infrastructure project. MVP project construction resumed in mid-July 2023, and the MVP project team is working to safely and responsibly complete construction and place the pipeline in-service for the benefits of energy reliability and affordability in the form of lower natural gas prices for American consumers.
In our Nation’s quest to addresses climate change, the MVP will play an important role in our transition to a lower-carbon economy, and we are committed to meeting or exceeding all applicable regulations to ensure the safety of our communities, employees, contractors, and assets. As the MVP enters its final construction phase, Mountain Valley will continue to work closely with all federal and state agencies to maintain its high standards of safety and environmental stewardship.