Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Jefferson National Forest

Current Status:

The Forest Service published a Notice of Intent to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on July 30, 2020. The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) will analyze amending the Jefferson National Forest Plan to allow for the use and occupancy of National Forest System (NFS) lands for the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project. The Forest Service is preparing a SEIS to address the 4th Circuit Court Ruling, new information, and changed circumstances such as new federally listed threatened and endangered species and critical habitat designations. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a cooperating agency under the National Environmental Policy Act for this SEIS.

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 Mountain Valley Pipeline Project (MVP Project). Mountain Valley 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 Pipeline, 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 groups and received an adverse ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in July 2018 which 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 Jefferson National Forest stopped. While work continues to address the court opinion, the Forest Service coordinated with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC to develop and implement a stabilization plan to protect soil and water resources in areas where tree clearing and/or construction had occurred. The Forest Service is continuing to implement stabilization measures as well as monitoring stabilized areas for potential soil erosion and sedimentation impacts.

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.

For More Information:

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Notice of Intent to Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Brush Mountain and Sinking Creek Mountain Closure Order 


Archived Documents and Links

Closure Orders for Stablization Activities: Brush Mountain and Sinking Creek Mountain, and Peter's Mountain -orders terminated December 31, 2019

New Release announcing Closure Orders for Stabilization Activities Closure Order Termination for Brush Mountain Road

Emergency Closure Order Termination

News Release announcing Emergency Closure Order 05/10/2018 - order terminated September 28, 2018

Emergency Closure Order for Construction - order terminated September 28, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Vacated Forest Service Final Record of Decision – Mountain Valley Pipeline Special Use Permit/Land Resource Management Plan Amendments

News Release announces final Record of Decision

Frequently Asked Questions on the Final Record of Decision

Forest Service Letter of Concurrence to Grant MVP a right-of-way

Biological Assessment for Mountain Valley Pipeline PDF

Biological Opinion for the Mountain Valley Pipeline PDF

Forest Service Letter of Acceptance of the Biological Evaluation

Objection Response Letter from Reviewing Official

List of Forest Service documents submitted to MVP FERC Docket

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

FERC Certificate

2004 Jefferson National Forest Plan

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