Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Jefferson National Forest

Current Status:

The Forest Service prepared a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project in response to a revised right-of-way application deemed complete by the Bureau of Land Management on May 28, 2020. The 45-day comment period began September 25, 2020, when the Notice of Availability for the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Equitrans Expansion Project was published in the Federal Register. The comment period will end on November 9, 2020. Instructions for where to send comments are included below. This project is not subject to the Forest Service’s 36 CFR 218 project-level pre-decisional administrative review process. This is because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment is the responsible official for the project. Projects and activities proposed by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment are not subject to the predecisional administrative review process;

The Mountain Valley Pipeline and Equitrans Expansion project’s draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement supplements the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Final Environmental Impact Statement. The Forest Service as the lead agency, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as a federal cooperating agency, plan to make decisions based on the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement review of the FERC 2017 Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Background Information:

The Forest Service issued a Record of Decision on December 1, 2017, to modify 11 standards in the Jefferson National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan associated with the MVP project. Mountain Valley LLC obtained authorization from the BLM to construct and operate the MVP project on federal lands crossed by the project on December 28, 2017. Under the Mineral Leasing Act, BLM is the federal agency responsible for issuing Right-of-Way grants for natural gas pipelines across federal lands under the jurisdiction of two or more federal agencies. The BLM acquired the written concurrences of the Forest Service and the United States Army Corp of Engineers prior to issuing their authorization. Mountain Valley LLC had cleared trees along the 3.5 miles of the right-of-way on the Jefferson National Forest in the spring of 2018 and began constructing the pipeline on a 1.8 mile section of the Jefferson National Forest.

The MVP project was litigated by environmental organizations and received an adverse ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in July 2018 that vacated Forest Service decisions and associated authorizations for the pipeline route across the Jefferson National Forest. Due to this ruling, all construction activity that was in progress on the JNF stopped. The Forest Service is continuing to implement stabilization measures as well as monitoring stabilized areas for potential soil erosion and sedimentation impacts while the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement analysis is underway.

The Forest Service set aside several areas for individuals or groups to exercise their constitutional First Amendment rights.

A closure order for Brush Mountain and Sinking Creek Mountain was put in place June 12, 2020, and is effective until June 12, 2021, or until rescinded earlier. This closure order was put into effect to protect public health and safety.

How to Comment:

Please submit comments on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to:

 https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=50036.

To view supporting documents to inform your comments, select the Go Back to Main Project Page link at the top of the page.

You can also send written comments to: George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, MVP Project, 5162 Valleypointe Parkway, Roanoake, VA 24019

For media inquiries:

Send an email to: SM.FS.GWJNF-PA@usda.gov or leave a voicemail at 1-888-603-0261.

Documents and Links

News Release: Mountain Valley Pipeline and Equitrans Expansion Project Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Mountain Valley Pipeline and Equitrans Expansion Project Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Notice of Availability of a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Notice of Intent to Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

FERC-Final Environmental Impact Statement for Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC and Equitrans, LP's Mountain Valley Project (Docket #CP16-10)

Mountain Valley Pipeline Plan of Development (POD) and AppendicesLink to documents located on the Bureau of Land Management website

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling

Closure Order for Brush Mountain and Sinking Creek Mountain

News Release for Closure Order

First Amendment Expression Areas and Maps

Frequently Asked Questions

Archived Documents and Links

All archived documents and links for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project are available here.

 

 

 

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprd3827827