Need for MVP Pipeline Inspections Evident in Summers County, WV

by Duane Nichols on May 16, 2019

MVP pipeline construction in Summers County

MVP Playing a Game with West Virginians and the Environment

From Neal Laferriere, Summers County Resident, May 13, 2019

I want to share an experience with you. We are in the northern end of Summers County, WV. Our property and the surrounding properties are currently experiencing the extensive disturbance that comes with the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction.

One of the things we have been aware of from watching the construction in other counties is that WVDEP is severely understaffed to be able to monitor this project.
They have one field agent for the entire lower half of the state. He is not only responsible for the MVP project, but also the Mountaineer Express Pipeline and several other projects.

Jason Liddle the WVDEP field agent for the southern region is extremely dedicated to his job and I commend him for his efforts and willingness to work with landowners.

That said here is what MVP is doing. On Tuesday of last week, I went to look at an extremely steep slope on the property across from my farm. MVP had come down the slope and cut erosion trenches in but had not put erosion control in place at the end of the trenches to prevent erosion and runoff from going directly into the springs and ephemeral stream that drain this property into Patterson Creek( part of the Meadow River drainage). I did not file a complaint with WVDEP that day, understanding that it might be a day or two to complete that section. I returned on Saturday, May 11th to check the trenches and hillside for erosion control measures. None were installed!

We had rain on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday this was forecasted all week. So erosion and sediment was allowed to flow off the construction site all weekend

I filed a complaint with WVDEP Saturday evening (pictures are attached).

I called Jason Liddle to follow up with him this morning. We discussed it and he called me back to let me know that he had called MVP to request a site visit. After Jasons call I went up to the front of our property to see MVP trucks pulling up and taking erosion control methods up to the steep slope. I hiked over and documented the workers putting erosion controls in. (Pictures attached) Jason showed up sometime later.

This is a very big problem. It shows that MVP is violating the regulations for the construction of their pipeline. It shows that they are playing with our environment and the WVDEP. They only came out to fix it to try and avoid a violation notice. They only came out to fix it because they knew the inspector was on his way.

MVP does not respect the WVDEP, MVP does not respect our clean water. They are playing a game of hide and go seek. They wait until someone says something about their sloppy work and then rush to hide it to avoid getting caught by the WVDEP inspector.

Something needs to be done to fix the broken system that allows companies to play games with our environment. That fail to respect WV regulations and the enforcement agencies.

The leadership in WV needs to take action that protects us as citizens, our land and our water from companies that think they can ignore the rules. They need to take a much more serious review of infrastructure and other projects that are impacting our lives and environment.

Please help us, it should not come down to citizens having to monitor these projects that our government and agencies approve. If these projects are going to be done, we need to ensure we can enforce the project. We need to ensure that the project can be done with out harming citizens or the environment. These things should far outweigh the potential revenue these projects might bring to the capitals coffers.

Perhaps the time is now for following suit with VA and file charges against them for the violations. I am certainly not a politician or an attorney, but I do know that until we make a stand and show that we won’t be pushed over MVP and companies like it will continue to run over us.

Please feel free to share this with colleagues or constituents. If you want more information please feel free to reach out to me.

Respectfully, Neal Laferriere

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mary Wildfire May 17, 2019 at 7:54 am

Here’s the issue I have with this piece. “…that he had called MVP to request a site visit.”

Does a WV-DEP inspector have to REQUEST a site visit? And this alerted them to fix the problem (sort of) before the inspector arrived.

I guess that saves WV-DEP work too but they should not announce a site visit in advance. Maybe they want someone from the company to be there to answer for them — but giving them enough notice to belatedly do what they’re supposed to allows them to skip it whenever there isn’t an alert resident to call the WV-DEP.

Mary Wildfire, Roane County, WV


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