ROANOKE, Va. – Mountain Valley Pipeline construction activity has been halted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
In a letter addressed to Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC counsel dated Friday, FERC's director of the Office of Energy Projects Terry Turpin had this sentence bolded:
MVP is hereby notified that construction activity along all portions of the Project and in all work areas must cease immediately, with the exception of any measures deemed necessary by those land managing agencies or FERC staff to ensure the stabilization of the right of way and work areas.
This letter follows the July 27 order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit which vacated decisions by other government agencies that authorized the pipeline's construction across federal lands.
MVP has not obtained the rights-of-way and temporary use permits from the federal government needed for the project to cross federally owned lands, according to the letter.
The letter also states that within five days, MVP must provide an interim right-of-way and work area stabilization plan to be reviewed.
MVP released this statement to 10 News:
"We agree with the FERC that the USFS and BLM will be able to satisfy the Court’s requirements regarding their respective decisions; and we believe that the two agencies have the required information to address the issues related to the stop work order and will work quickly to supplement their initial records. In addition, we are confident that the BLM has reached the correct conclusion regarding the impracticality of the MVP alternatives as initially reviewed and believe the BLM has the necessary information to supplement and enhance their rationale. Given the fact that MVP has halted operations in the JNF, we respectfully disagree with the breadth of the August 3, 2018 stop work order. We will continue to work closely with all agencies to resolve these issues and look forward to continuing the safe construction of this important infrastructure project."
Congressman Morgan Griffith issued this statement regarding FERC's decision:
"After the ruling by a Federal appeals court vacating permits to construct the Mountain Valley Pipeline through the Jefferson National Forest, FERC’s decision to stop work on MVP is appropriate. If the pipeline cannot be constructed through the forest, it does not make sense to proceed with disturbing other people’s lands that may never connect to a pipeline."
Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst issued this statement:
“This temporary stop-‐work order shows yet again that this ill advised pipeline—with its continued erosion management issues—should not proceed further.”