Franklin County landowners sue Mountain Valley Pipeline after erosion damage

They filed federal lawsuit Tuesday

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter, Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. - People in Franklin County are suing Mountain Valley Pipeline, saying a mudslide at a construction site damaged their property.

Six landowners filed the suit Tuesday in federal court.

They claim the company has shown a “startling disregard” for the effects of construction.

On May 15, heavy rain caused mud to slide past barriers workers had in place, causing about 8 inches of mud to cover Cahas Mountain Road.

There is now an investigation underway by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality into what caused the mudslide to block the Franklin County road near where construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline is underway.

The landowners, Wendell and Mary Flora, Glenn and Linda Firth, and Michael and France Hurt, said the runoff made its way to their property and damaged streams.

The lawsuit quotes a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality worker who said she saw a nearby stream filled with so much mud no water was flowing.

The landowners are asking a judge to stop construction of the pipeline.

An MVP spokeswoman said after the incident that the company is investigating and no streams were impacted.

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