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FERC OKs work on Mountain Valley pipeline, orders coordination with Va. county

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission authorized some work on the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline project, making exceptions for a dispute over mitigation measures in a Virginia county.

The $3.7 billion project received FERC approval March 27 to begin construction at specific areas in Craig, Giles, Lewis, Montgomery and Roanoke counties in Virginia. The project has secured various partial permissions for construction work since Jan. 22.

On March 23, Montgomery County asked FERC for assistance with disputed mitigation measures for work through part of the area's North Fork Valley historical district and claimed the project developer had ignored correspondence over the county's and the Montgomery Museum's determination that the $25,000 offered by Mountain Valley was insufficient to cover the costs of a proposed exhibit that would act as mitigation of the project's effects.

In response to the county's concerns, the commission ordered Mountain Valley to revise the treatment plan for the area and work with the county and the museum to reach an agreement or find another nonprofit partner to assist with the exhibit. FERC also recommended that Mountain Valley consider using funds for the preservation of the district.

The commission approved the 2-Bcf/d project in a certificate order in October 2017. The project would consist of about 300 miles of pipeline running from West Virginia to Virginia along with three new compressor stations in West Virginia.

The pipeline is a joint venture of EQT Midstream Partners LP, NextEra Energy Inc., RGC Resources Inc., WGL Holdings Inc. and Consolidated Edison Inc. (FERC docket CP16-10)