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Mountain Valley Pipeline

A bad energy project approved by a bad pipeline policy.

A prime example of bad energy development.

"Opponents seek a stop to 'reckless' construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline" - The Roanoke Times - Oct. 15, 2018

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has a history of working out solutions regarding America’s need to build new energy projects.  But in the case of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the ATC, our federal partners, nearby cities and towns, and hundreds of private land owners were cut out of a process that should have shut down a bad, bad project.

Quite frankly, Mountain Valley Pipeline has become a good example of bad energy development. Currently the steep mountainsides near Roanoke are being carved, gashed and ripped up. Unusually heavy rainfall this year has, from when the earthmovers first fired up, exposed the recklessness of this pipeline developer. The degradation of the landscape has meant severe erosion – already. And we can tell you, firsthand, that A.T. hikers in this area are shocked and dismayed.

In April 2017, ATC called out the pipeline company for adding more than 20,000 pages to their plans – outside of public view. See our published opinions here and here. We have also written multiple editorials on the problems with the project, which can be found here, here and here.

Notably, we have worked with Virginia Senators Kaine and Warner and Congressman Morgan Griffith on bicameral legislation in Senate and House to shore up some of the decision-making processes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) needs to consider before greenlighting natural gas pipelines. Our country needs to be vigilant in protecting congressionally created national scenic trails, national parks and national forests.

Legislation to improve FERC’s decision-making processes, along with pressure from organizations like ATC and ensuing lawsuits filed by our allies, caused FERC to open a public comment period. ATC and 30 trail maintaining clubs filed strong comments asking FERC, among many things, to evaluate proposed existing pipelines for their cumulative impacts and to consider opportunities to share corridors to lessen environmental disruption.

What's at stake.

Spearheaded by EQT Corporation, MVP will carry fracked natural gas for over 300 miles through the Virginia and West Virginia countryside, crossing over dozens of water sources and cutting through protected natural areas, including the A.T. corridor. The pipeline will run parallel to the A.T. parallel for 15 miles and be visible, on and off, for 90 miles of Trail.

Major problems.

Thousands of people have voiced their opposition to the Mountain Valley Pipeline, highlighting issues such as:

Mountain Valley Pipeline will destroy the Appalachian Trail

Permanent damage to the A.T. experience.

Thousands of acres of pristine forest have already been destroyed in preparation for pipeline construction, creating gashes in the landscape visible, on and off, for 90 miles of Trail. Multiple iconic viewpoints in Virginia are likely to be negatively impacted, including Angels Rest, Kelly Knob, Rice Fields and Dragons Tooth — some of the most visited and photographed locations on the entire A.T. The final construction of MVP would make these scars last forever. 

Mountain Valley Pipeline will devastate the local drinking water

Water quality and safety concerns.

MVP is being constructed on land that is unstable and crosses over an active seismic zone, needlessly creating a high risk of severe erosion, landslides and pipeline failure. Land that was previously supported by trees and other plants has now been destabilized due to tree and plant removal, which could fill fresh water sources with large amounts of sediment and debris. Natural gas leaks could also poison the surrounding environment and contaminate drinking water used by nearby communities.

Mountain Valley Pipeline will harm the local economy

Threats to local jobs.

Economic studies highlight the potential negative impacts the pipeline would have on the income and property values in areas surrounding pipeline construction. Many local communities are staunch supporters of the A.T. and depend on tourism dollars provided by hikers and other visitors.

In the news.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 23, 2018 - "Environmental regulators again cite the Mountain Valley Pipeline"



Media inquiries.

Jordan Bowman
Public Relations & Social Media Manager
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.885.0794
Email: [email protected]