MVP suspends pipeline installation in Virginia
The Mountain Valley Pipeline has temporarily suspended construction activities as it corrects problems with erosion and sediment control.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the work won't resume until the agency gives its okay.
On Friday, MVP crews were rebuilding a creek crossing near Mount Tabor Road in Montgomery County, but the company said it had agreed to suspend pipeline installation, including welding, trenching and stringing of pipe, while it repairs and enhances erosion controls.
Montgomery County resident Lynda Majors said she doesn't believe the work will address the problem.
"This will not fix this project," Majors told WDBJ7. "This project does not have adequate sedimentation control measures for the slope and for the rains that we normally have."
Majors was not impressed with the suspension, but other opponents said they are encouraged that efforts to monitor pipeline construction appear to be having an effect.
Dan Crawford is Chair of the Sierra Club Roanoke Group.
"It reminds all of us, don't quit now," Crawford said Friday morning.
"Our efforts are bearing fruit. The Mountain Valley Watch program where we have photographs and descriptions of where they are failing to meet regulations, it's very important to understand our efforts do matter."
Mountain Valley Pipeline released the following statement Friday morning:
"Since inception of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project, the MVP team has been closely coordinating with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) to ensure appropriate soil erosion and sediment controls were implemented, and restored where necessary, along the pipeline route. After direct consultation with VDEQ, and in light of the recent extraordinary rainfall experienced in Virginia, we have agreed to temporarily suspend pipeline installation activities, including welding, trenching, and stringing of pipe, in Virginia. The MVP project team takes its environmental stewardship responsibilities very seriously and wants to redirect its work efforts to focus exclusively on erosion controls affected by recent weather events. As the controls are enhanced and restored at given points along the route, MVP will continue to coordinate with VDEQ to resume full pipeline construction activities in those areas."
It's not clear how long the suspension will last, but the state says the pipeline work will only resume when the Department of Environment Quality approves.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Mountain Valley Pipeline project teams have agreed to temporarily suspend pipeline installation in Virginia.
This comes after issues during inspections and complaint inspections.
MVP is directing crews to enhance and restore controls along the pipeline route to ensure proper soil erosion and sediment controls are implemented.
Construction will resume after MVP receives approval by DEQ.