Kaine calls for rehearing on pipeline applications

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ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) Red Terry has had a bird's-eye-view of Bottom Creek and the Mountain Valley Pipeline right-of- way for over three weeks.

Along with friends who have set up camp near the base of her tree stand, daily visitors have made the trip to Bent Mountain to deliver moral support to the pipeline opponent.

Frank Munley lives in Salem.

"And we have to look at what Red is doing as an example, just like the civil rights workers in the 60s, and the anti-war people during the Vietnam war," Munley told WDBJ7. "Yes, this is the kind of thing society needs."

This week, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine said he also has serious concerns about the natural gas pipeline project.

He said he believes the federal approval process has serious flaws, and he's calling for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to rehear both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipeline applications.

And while he wasn't encouraging anyone to defy a court order, he said the protests should come as no surprise.

"And so sadly, I think this was predictable that you're going to have some significant concern about a decision when people question its legitimacy," Kaine told reporters during a teleconference Wednesday. "And that's why the FERC process needs to be reformed."

A spokesperson for the Mountain Valley Pipeline said the project has undergone a rigorous review, and has been subject to a level of scrutiny that is unprecedented for a project like this.

Here is the complete statement from Mountain Valley Pipeline:

"The MVP project, along with all submitted plans and processes, have undergone a rigorous review for more than three years, and have been subject to a level of scrutiny that is unprecedented for a project of this nature. The process, as designed, ensures environmental protection measures every step of the way. The permitting process provides the conditions under which the pipeline must be built in order to protect the environment. The construction process includes very stringent monitoring by FERC officials, state and local agencies, and MVP personnel to ensure MVP is adhering to each of the permitted requirements."