Emergency closure order issued for Mountain Valley Pipeline construction

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- The USDA Forest Service issued an emergency closure order for the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project right-of-way and access roads.

The order affects land in Giles County, Montgomery County in Virginia and Monroe County in West Virginia.

According to a release from the Forest Service, the closure order, set to last for 12 months, was enacted to protect public safety due to hazards associated with constructing the pipeline. The order prohibits going into or to be upon Forest Service lands within 200 feet of the centerline of the pipeline right-of-way, excluding the footpath of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and Brush Mountain East Road.

The release says the Appalachian National Scenic Trail will stay open during pipeline construction. The order also prohibits operating, leaving, possessing, or parking a motor vehicle on Mystery Ridge Road for its entire length, and Pocahontas Road from the first Forest Service gate to the intersection with Mystery Ridge Road.