The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline achieved a new milestone when the U.S. government released a preliminary environmental review of the project.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the 301-mile natural gas pipeline project on Sept. 16. The environmental report comes after more than 27 months of project planning and development, according to the project website. The DEIS takes into account the analyzed data from civil and environmental surveys, as well as comments from landowners, community members, government agencies and local elected officials along the proposed route from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline will be constructed and owned by Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC, a joint venture between EQT Midstream Partners LP, NextEra US Gas Assets LLC, Con Edison Gas Midstream LLC, WGL Midstream, Vega Midstream MVP LLC and RGC Midstream LLC. EQT Midstream will operate the pipeline and own a significant interest in the joint venture.
When completed, the pipeline is expected to provide up 2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of firm transmission capacity from natural gas supplies in the Marcellus and Utica shale production region to markets in the Mid- and South Atlantic United States. The Mountain Valley Pipeline will extend from the Equitrans transmission system in Wetzel County, West Virginia, to Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co.’s (Transco) Zone 5 Compressor Station No. 165 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. The pipeline has secured firm commitments for the full capacity of the system under 20-year contracts.
The pipeline will be governed by the United States Natural Gas Act, which requires a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity from FERC before construction can commence. As currently planned, the pipeline will be up to 42 in. in diameter and will require approximately 50 ft of permanent easement (with up to 125 ft of temporary easement during construction). As proposed, the project will require three compressor stations, with identified locations in Wetzel, Braxton and Fayette counties in West Virginia.
On Oct. 23, 2015, Mountain Valley filed a formal application with FERC for approval to construct, own and operate the pipeline. The application requesting the FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity was received and the MVP project was issued Docket Number CP16-10 on Nov. 5, 2015.
FERC’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is expected in March 2017, with construction scheduled to begin mid-year, pending approval. The estimated in-service date is fourth quarter 2018.