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Virginia orders Mountain Valley Pipeline to stop work over water-control issues

  • Author
  • Sibyl Layag
  • Editor
  • Valarie Jackson
  • Commodity
  • Natural Gas

Houston — Virginia regulators ordered Mountain Valley Pipeline to halt construction activities on a section of the 2 Bcf/d natural gas pipeline project, warning of "imminent and substantial adverse impact" on water quality in the area if work continues.

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The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality found that MVP failed to provide and ensure the proper function of erosion and sediment controls according to site-specific plans on a roughly two-mile section of the project in Montgomery County, Virginia, according to a stop-work order issued Friday.

The agency issued the order after an August 1 inspection.

The Department of Environmental Quality required the EQM Midstream Partners-operated project to stop ongoing clearing, grading, and trenching activities in the designated area. The developer is only allowed to perform work to install and maintain erosion and sediment control devices.

The work suspension will be in effect until MVP corrects the situation and the fixes are approved by the state. "We are appalled that construction priorities and deadline pressures would ever rise above the proper and appropriate use of erosion control measures," Department of Environmental Quality Director David Paylor said.

EQT, the largest gas producer in the US by volume, is the largest stakeholder in EQM Midstream Partners, the leading developer in MVP.

EQT executives have said MVP is aiming to begin service on the project in mid-2020, despite a number of setbacks that include rising project costs, fines for environmental violations, safety inquiries and revoked permits to cross the Jefferson National Forest. The project runs 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia to deliver gas from the Marcellus and Utica shales to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.

-- Sibyl Layag, S&P Global Market Intelligence,

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson,