To be operated by EQM Midstream Partners, the pipeline will transport over 2Bcf per day of natural gas sourced from the Marcellus and Utica shale regions
Several environmental organisations have filed a legal challenge to the recently issued new biological opinion (BiOp) by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), an underground gas pipeline being laid between West Virginia and Virginia.
The petition for review against the BiOp along with the incidental take statement under the Endangered Species Act has been filed by the groups in the US States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
It was filed by Wild Virginia, Appalachian Voices, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Preserve Bent Mountain, Indian Creek Watershed Association, Preserve Giles County, and others.
Recently, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a key water permit that would be required to move ahead with construction activities in West Virginia streams and wetlands.
In the absence of the West Virginia Clean Water Act section 401 certification, the US Army Corps of Engineers cannot permit construction in streams anywhere along the 488km long pipeline.
Previously, the Fourth Circuit Court rejected prior authorisations granted to the pipeline project by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the agency did not adequately analyse the environmental context of the pipeline project when studying the detrimental effects on the Roanoke logperch and the candy darter.
Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign director Patrick Grenter said: “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued another flawed biological opinion, and admitted that it ignored expert analysis and additional public input. MVP is attempting to steer their pipeline through steep slopes and sensitive streams across Appalachia, and it is critical that every impact on those environments is considered.
“This pipeline has a long track record of throwing caution to the wind in allowing their activities to cause harmful and recurring water quality violations. By invalidating a deficient biological opinion, we would be one step closer to protecting these imperiled species and their habitats.”
Mountain Valley Pipeline is a joint venture project between EQM Midstream Partners, Con Edison Transmission, NextEra Capital, WGL Midstream, and RGC Midstream.
To be operated by EQM Midstream Partners, the pipeline will transport over two billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of natural gas sourced from the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.