Northam said he has not taken a position either in support or in opposition to the pipelines. “I am supportive of moving forward (with the regulatory process),” he said. “We need energy, but we need energy responsibly.”
Northam took a tour of
A work stoppage was ordered by the
Although the ruling impacts only about 3.5 miles of the route, it is at a critical location, crossing
Rerouting the pipeline to avoid that could require another environmental impact study as well as obtaining more rights of ways.
Northam said he understands the concerns raised and has been clear on what the state’s role is with respect to these projects: to follow the law and to hold them to the highest environmental standards possible.
He said he trusts the public servants at the
The problems associated with the pipeline, he said, include landowner rights and the recent rain and flooding that have dumped “too much sediment into waterways.”
“All along the pipeline they need to be conscious of the land and take people’s property rights into account,” he said. “Any compliance issue … we are looking and watching the streams and the rivers closely.”
Northam said any problems with permits to cross federal land should be resolved and the state is cognizant of the work and its impact.
“We have agencies in
Pipeline worksites in the area were idle Saturday and will be until the issue with the national forest land is settled, an alternate route is chosen or the project does not continue.
That’s a point Rep.
“After the ruling by a federal appeals court vacating permits to construct the Mountain Valley Pipeline through the
The ruling by a three-judge panel on the
The 42-inch diameter pipeline, which is slated to run from the
According to an article in the Pittsburgh Business Times, the MVP will continue to pursue a right of way through federal land and work with agencies to meet requirements.
The article said the in-service date for the project has already been moved from late this year to the first quarter of 2019 and that the estimated cost of the project has risen from between $3 billion and $3.5 billion to up to $3.7 billion.
That does not include costs associated with any route changes if federal land cannot be crossed.
Work has already been started in a lot of areas, including
Since word of the pipeline project surfaced about four years ago, many residents in counties, especially landowners directly impacted, have fought the MVP.
They have cited dangers of explosions, the impact on waterways and underground water supplies, and other possible environmental problems.
Landowners who oppose it crossing their land and have gone to court have lost as eminent domain kicks in. But they maintain the project is not for the public good since it’s a transmission line, not a distribution line.
MVP officials have touted the economic benefits, from the initial construction jobs to the tax revenue to the increased availability of natural gas for cleaner energy. They also say, like Northam, that all state and federal environmental regulations will be met.
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