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Work on Mountain Valley Pipeline can resume

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RICHMOND, Va. – Mountain Valley Pipeline has another two years to finish a natural gas pipeline.

The Roanoke Times reports that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission also lifted a stop-work order for all but a 25-mile segment of the interstate transmission line that includes the Jefferson National Forest and adjacent land.

While acknowledging problems with erosion and sedimentation during the first two years of construction, FERC found that allowing the pipeline to be completed is best for both the environment and the public.

In a 2-1 decision, the commission wrote that the presence of equipment, personnel, and partially completed construction is disruptive to landowners. Commissioners say proceeding to final restoration “is in the best interest of these landowners and the environment.”

In a dissent, Commissioner Richard Glick wrote that lifting the stop-work order is “plowing ahead with construction in the face of uncertainty.”

The 303-mile pipeline will take 2 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas drilled from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations and transport it through Southwest Virginia to connect with a pipeline in Chatham, where it will then be distributed to markets along the East Coast.

However, new legal challenges could limit the scope of work.