Mountain Valley Pipeline survey case reaches Roanoke courtroom

Published: May. 19, 2017 at 8:37 PM EDT
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Representatives of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and landowners who oppose the controversial project met Friday in a Roanoke courtroom.

The pipeline company was asking for an injunction that would allow surveying to resume on properties where crews were turned away two weeks ago.

The hearing dealt with a few parcels on Bent Mountain, but opponents say it could have much larger implications.

"It's our argument that MVP does not have the right to come onto anyone's property before FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission certifies the project is going forward," said Justin Lugar, the attorney representing members of the Terry family. "So there's just no need to do it at all."

Crews have been surveying other properties on Bent Mountain.

WDBJ7 was there earlier this week, when a survey team entered another parcel owned by a member of the Terry family.

"So now that surveying has started up again, we really want the public to know how invasive this is," Grace Terry said.

Attorneys representing MVP declined our request for an interview following the hearing.

But in court they said state law allows them to enter the property without landowners' approval. They said allowing the surveying to move forward without confrontation is in everyone's interest. And they said the company's inability to complete the work is adding unnecessary expense and delay to the pipeline project.

Judge David Carson has promised a ruling on the pipeline company's request for an injunction a week from Friday.

Meanwhile, the surveying continues. Crews were back at work on Bent Mountain Friday afternoon.