Developers behind the already over-budget and behind-schedule Mountain Valley Pipeline will seek individual permits for each of the remaining 400 water body crossings that remain along the controversial pipeline’s 303-mile route, EQM Midstream Partners LP told FERC earlier this week.
The Tuesday announcement follows a federal court’s repeated rejections of a blanket “Nationwide Permit 12” for the entire project and represents a major victory for the pipeline’s opponents who have long warned the nationwide permit failed to adequately assess the potential environmental harms of open-cut stream crossings along the pristine and difficult terrain. The next day NextEra Energy Inc., which holds a 31% stake in the pipeline, wrote off $1.2 billion of the value of its investment in the pipeline.
MVP developers say the pipeline, now nearly 100% over-budget, will be in operation by the end of 2021, approximately two years later than an earlier estimated in-service date. “Another day, another delay,” Joan Walker, of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign, said in a statement. “I can’t help but wonder when MVP’s backers will quit throwing good money after bad and walk away from this risky bet once and for all.” (E&E $, Roanoke Times, AP, WDBJ, Pittsburgh Business Times)