Large MVP & ACP Pipelines Urgently Challenge National Forests in WV & VA

by Duane Nichols on March 18, 2015

Mountain Valley Pipeline Route

U.S. Forest Service Extends Comment Period on Mountain Valley Pipeline

Article by Jesse Wright, Associated Press, March 16, 2015

The U.S. Forest Service extended the comment period on whether portions of the Jefferson National Forest can be surveyed for a possible pipeline route.

A special-use permit would be required before surveying could be done in the national forest for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The Forest Service’s original deadline for comments was February 13th. Comments will now be taken until April 2nd.

The deadline extension is in response to a new permit application filed March 4th  by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC. Mountain Valley filed the new application because new routes it is considering for the pipeline would cross sections of the forest not covered in previous survey applications.

Forest Service Staff Officer Ken Landgraf said there’s no need to resubmit comments on the previous survey application as those comments are still being considered. He said new comments on the old survey application also will be accepted until April 2nd.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline company wants to survey new sections of the Jefferson National Forest in Monroe County, WV, and three counties in Virginia.

In February, a group of concerned citizens from Monroe County hand-delivered almost 800 letters of protest about the pipeline survey application to the Forest Service’s office in Virginia.

The proposed pipeline would carry natural gas from Wetzel County, West Virginia, to another pipeline in Pittsylvania County, in Virginia.

You can file a comment about Mountain Valley’s survey application by mail, email or fax:
Fax: (540) 265-5145

Mail or hand deliver: USDA Forest Service, Mountain Valley Pipeline Survey Comments, 5162 Valleypointe Parkway, Roanoke, VA 24019


George Washington National Forest Grants Permission for Dominion to Survey for Pipeline

Article from Charlottesville (VA) Newsplex, March 17, 2015

Roanoke, VA Officials with the George Washington National Forest have granted permission for Dominion to survey more than 12 miles of forest land for a proposed natural gas pipeline.

The survey runs along an alternate route that Dominion proposed after facing strong resistance to its original pipeline route. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run 550 miles, from West Virginia, through Virginia, and into North Carolina.

This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is meeting with residents throughout Virginia to get feedback on the proposal. Numerous landowners in Nelson County are suing Dominion to try to prevent them from surveying their land.

>> Press release from George Washington and Jefferson National Forests –

The Forest Service is issuing a temporary special use permit to survey a 12.6-mile segment of the George Washington National Forest for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Highland and Augusta counties, VA. Surveys for wetlands, water, soil, and suitable habitat for sensitive species, including federally listed threatened and endangered plants and animals will be conducted within the next year. Surveys will also record cultural resources and invasive species.

“The information gathered from these surveys is needed for federal agencies to make informed decisions on whether or not to allow construction and operation of the proposed natural gas pipeline, and if allowed, to avoid, or reduce the impacts to sensitive resources,” explains Forest Supervisor Tom Speaks.

Many of the 7,400 comments we received on the survey permit related to concerns about the construction and operation of the proposed pipeline, rather than the surveys. “It is important to remember that allowing these survey activities does not mean we are allowing the construction of a pipeline,” reminds Speaks. We have not received additional requests for surveying National Forest System lands for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), as the lead federal agency, is currently holding public meetings and soliciting comments on the construction of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. FERC will conduct an in-depth environmental analysis on private and public lands, with many opportunities for public comments.

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