USDA Forest Service Rescinds Emergency Closure Order for the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project Right-Of-Way and Access Roads and Issues Closure Orders for Stabilization

Release Date: Oct 1, 2018  

Contact(s): 1-888-603-0261


ROANOKE, Va., October 1, 2018 – The USDA Forest Service rescinded an emergency closure order for the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project right-of-way (ROW) and access roads for construction activities on National Forest System (NFS) lands in Monroe County, West Virginia and Giles and Montgomery Counties, Virginia.

The USDA Forest Service issued new closure orders for the stabilization activities of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Project ROW and an access road on National Forest System (NFS) lands in Monroe County, West Virginia and Giles and Montgomery Counties, Virginia. The new closure orders were enacted to protect public safety due to hazards associated with stabilizing the Mountain Valley Pipeline ROW.

One order prohibits going into or to be upon NFS lands within 200 feet of the outer edge of each side of the construction ROW where it's already been cut on Brush Mountain and Sinking Creek Mountain. A second order prohibits going into or being upon the area where trees have been cut (“cut area”) on the Peters Mountain construction ROW on NFS lands.  A third order prohibits going into or being upon a segment of Brush Mountain Road on NFS lands.  The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is excluded from the Peters Mountain closure order and will remain open because it is not within the “cut area” of the ROW.

These new orders are in effect until January 10, 2019 on the segment of Brush Mountain Road, and December 31, 2019 on the ROW on Brush Mountain, Sinking Creek Mountain, and Peter's Mountain, unless terminated earlier by the Authorized Officer.

On August 3, 2018, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a stop work order for the entire MVP project. On August, 29, 2018, the stop work order was revised to authorize construction to resume on most areas of the project; however, work on a 25-mile stretch of the route (that contains the Jefferson National Forest) remains stopped until issues associated with the recent court ruling are resolved. While FERC’s stop work order is in effect on the Jefferson National Forest, the Forest Service is ensuring Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC takes necessary measures to stabilize and perform interim restoration of construction areas on Brush Mountain and Sinking Creek Mountain. Mountain Valley will require use of construction equipment to implement stabilization measures.

The Forest Service has designated Caldwell Flats Campground as a First Amendment area to accommodate legal protest activity.

The complete text of the closure orders, along with maps, can be viewed on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests’ webpage at the following link: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/gwj/home/?cid=stelprdb5407016&width=full.

-USFS-





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gwj/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD597907