Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC is working to resolve the single remaining regulatory issue by modifying its approach to crossing waterbodies and wetlands. The change is expected to allow construction to be completed so that the interstate transmission pipeline can be brought into service to meet public demand for natural gas later this year.
When the MVP project was announced and began its permitting activities in 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit 12 process served as the historical standard for linear infrastructure projects seeking regulatory approval for waterbody crossings. In 2020, Mountain Valley received approval for its Nationwide Permit 12.
Subsequent and unforeseen litigation, however, created uncertainty around the Nationwide Permit 12 program. Given the circumstances, the project team opted to pursue an effective and more certain path for its remaining wetland/waterbody crossings through the Corps’ Individual Permit process, an approach many opponents had requested.
This regulatory change, combined with a revised approach to use a combination of trenchless and open-cut crossing methods, provides the most efficient path to completing the remaining components of this important public infrastructure project.
Both crossing methods have been used successfully by MVP project crews and are selected based on a variety of factors, including accessibility, terrain, and duration of activities at a given location. Each crossing is designed to minimize environmental impacts while also providing for the safe construction and operation of the project itself.
While this process involves additional regulatory review, including a separate FERC certificate amendment process, regulatory agencies have already reviewed the vast majority of the scientific and technical analyses. Furthermore, this revised approach is expected to satisfy the requests of some opponents who had advocated for additional trenchless crossings.
MVP has approximately 430 waterbody and wetland crossings remaining, which accounts for roughly 10 miles of the total 303-mile route. The adjustments are not expected to have a significant impact on the MVP’s current total project cost or schedule.
Total project work on the MVP is more than 92 percent complete, including all work on the project’s three compressor stations, all work on the three original certificated interconnects, approximately 80 percent of pipeline work (including more than 264 miles of pipe welded and in-place), and roughly half of the right-of-way has been fully restored.