Tree removal begins on MVP right-of-way in Virginia

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GILES CO., Va. (WDBJ7) The work that began in West Virginia a few weeks ago has now crossed the state line.

On Tuesday, we found crews near Pearisburg, using chain saws to take down trees in the path of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.

A representative of the company explained the process during a State Water Control Board hearing in Richmond last December.

"We do what we call hand-felling, where we have crews that go out with chain saws, just like lumberjacks and fell the trees over," Robert Cooper told members of the board. "And then we come back later and mechanically remove them."

The company's website describes a project that stretches more than 300 miles from West Virginia through Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania Counties.

And it explains construction techniques the company will use to bury the 42-inch pipeline.

"Depending on where we are, it could be several hundred feet in a unit," Cooper said at the Richmond meeting. "You actually pick it up together with several pieces of equipment, boom it over the trench, lower it in."

Tree-felling will continue through March.

While opponents continue to press court challenges. MVP hopes to begin mainline construction in Virginia in April.

Construction should take four to six months, and MVP says the project remains on track to enter service late this year.