Protester arrested at Mountain Valley Pipeline construction site in Pittsylvania County

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PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) -- The Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office arrested a protester who shackled herself to a drilling platform at a Mountain Valley Pipeline site on Friday.

Deputies said a group of about 9 protesters were at the site along Oxford Road in Chatham when they arrived. The protest caused a brief shutdown at the site.

Officials have identified the protester who was arrested as Emma Howell, from Florida.

She was charged with criminal trespassing and later released from custody on bond.

Mountain Valley Pipeline provided a statement to WDBJ7.

You can read the full statement below:

While we respect the opinions of those who remain opposed to the MVP project, our first priority is ensuring the safety of everyone in our communities along the route – including residents, our employees, contractors, supporters, opponents, and law enforcement officers.

As we stated yesterday, severe cold weather patterns, such as the cold front that affected much of MVP’s communities this week, demonstrate the importance of having adequate pipeline infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted delivery of natural gas for heating homes and businesses.

With approximately 70% of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project currently complete, we look forward to helping meet the public’s growing need for affordable, clean-burning, domestic natural gas.

Stay with WDBJ7 for updates.