Department of the Interior promotes energy dominance, grants right-of-way for Mountain Valley Pipeline
WASHINGTON—Today the Department of the Interior granted a right-of-way authorizing construction of the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline that will cross 3.6 miles of federal lands in West Virginia and Virginia. When complete, the 305-mile long, 42-inch diameter underground pipeline will transport about 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from production areas in southern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, for distribution along the East Coast.
“The Department of the Interior is committed to supporting development that puts Americans back to work and advances American energy dominance,” said Katherine MacGregor, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. “The Mountain Valley Pipeline will efficiently deliver domestic natural gas resources and create approximately 8,300 jobs at peak construction.”
Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC filed an application under the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate the pipeline in October 2015. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is responsible for authorizing construction and operation of interstate natural gas pipelines, is the lead federal agency for the project, with the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management participating as one of several cooperating agencies.
While there are no BLM-managed lands within the project area, about 3.6 miles of the proposed route crosses lands administered by the USDA Forest Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, the BLM is responsible for issuing rights-of-way over lands managed by two or more federal agencies.
The proposed project’s environmental impacts were evaluated by the FERC and cooperating agencies as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. The final Environmental Impact Statement, issued on June 23, 2017, is available on the FERC web site at https://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis/2017/06-23-17-FEIS.asp. The FERC issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity on October 13, which allows the pipeline to proceed.
The BLM worked closely with other federal cooperating agencies to ensure that issues that fall under environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act and National Historic Preservation Act were properly addressed. The Bureau also received letters of concurrence from the Forest Service and Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, the BLM approved Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC’s Plan of Development, which details how the pipeline and associated facilities will be constructed in compliance with the right-of-way’s terms, conditions, and stipulations.
The term of the right-of-way grant is 30 years with the right of renewal. Pipeline construction is expected to last about two and a half years. Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC estimates that the project could generate $47.3 million in state and local tax revenue for West Virginia and $34.1 million for Virginia.
Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC is a joint venture among EQT Midstream Partners LP, NextEra US Gas Assets LLC, WGL Midstream Inc., RGC Midstream LLC, and Con Edison Gas Midstream LLC.
For more information about the project visit the BLM ePlanning site at https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage¤tPageId=112989.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.