Preserve Craig Files Motion to Deny Extension

On September 11 Preserve Craig filed a compelling motion with the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority (FERC) to intervene and oppose Mountain Valley Pipeline’s (MVP) for a two-year extension of its certificate to build. FERC’s permit is currently under a stop-work order and the master certificate itself is set to expire in a few weeks, on October 13, 2020. The 27-page legal brief was filed by our attorneys and prepared and submitted jointly with Indian Creek Watershed Association and Save Monroe. It can be read on the FERC docket and on Preserve Craig website’s eLibrary.  The MVP project is already two years over schedule and more than $2 billion over budget.

Despite the very short comment deadline of fifteen days, 65 individual landowners who live on and near the pipeline corridor and twenty organizations also filed formal motions to intervene in the new FERC docket and oppose the extension of the permit. 43,000 people also filed comments opposing the continuation of the project. The Motion filed by Preserve Craig et al. argues that MVP is not capable of completing the project. Construction of the MVP pipeline is far from complete and is no longer owned by the original applicants. Delays due to MVP’s inadequate construction plans and repeated failures to comply with their own plans or the required environmental protections are not likely to change.

Currently MVP does not have the required federal permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management which would allow it to cross the Jefferson National Forest and hundreds of rivers,  streams, and wetlands. These permits were originally required for the FERC to issue its initial permit and subsequently removed because of lack of compliance to the requirements of permitting. Even if MVP can regain these necessary federal authorizations in the coming months, significant and very risky work would be required
to complete construction.

MVP’s remaining construction work represents some of the most challenging and environmentally sensitive locations of the entire project – very challenging terrain and unstable soils that include the crossing of Peters Mountain in Monroe County through Giles County and across Craig County, over Sinking Creek Mountain into Montgomery County.

“This region of the project is home to some of the steepest slopes encountered along the entire route of the MVP [Project], as well as some of the longest stretches of steep slopes. The outstanding construction is the most technically challenging, and also the most environmentally destructive,” according to environmental hydrologist Jacob Hileman cited in the Motion.

Since FERC granted the original permit in 2017, the need for the gas has changed dramatically and extensive evidence now shows that MVP is not capable of constructing or operating this pipeline safely. The Motion argues that FERC should deny MVP’s extension request outright. It also makes a strong case that if FERC considers granting an extension, it ”must re-evaluate its analysis and findings regarding project need and impacts in a Supplemental EIS before taking final action.”

The Motion argues that MVP’s sedimentation and erosion analyses, imperiled species, pipe integrity, public safety – as well as the need for a performance bond – all require review by the FERC under the Natural Gas Act “to ensure that the information supporting its public interest findings remain valid.”  The FERC is now considering these motions.

Preserve Craig needs donations to continue protecting our water, soils, viewsheds, and way of life. Preserve Craig’s mission is to protect our natural, historical, and cultural resources.

Preserve Craig is supports the Mountain Valley Watch (MVW), a collaboration of volunteers, nonprofits, and private interests. MVW is documenting activity of the Mountain Valley Pipeline to assure compliance with its construction plans. Call or text to 833-MVWATCH (833-689-2824) with any info on harm MVP is causing.

Protect Our Community

Please donate to protect this special place. Preserve Craig, Inc. is a 501C3 nonprofit volunteer public charity formed in 1991 to protect our natural, historical, and cultural resources. Tax-deductible donations can be made online at or by mail to: Preserve Craig, Inc., PO Box 730, New Castle, VA. 24127.

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