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Mountain Valley Pipeline, Virginia, USA

Local opposition delays construction of Mountain Valley Pipeline for years, but federal government pushes completion


The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a 303-mile (488 km) natural gas pipeline under construction through West Virginia and Virginia in the United States [4]. There is also a proposed 75 mile extension of the pipeline from Virginia into North Carolina called MVP Southgate. Construction on the pipeline began in 2018. The pipeline is owned by NextEra Energy, EQM Midstream, CON Edison Transmission, WGL Midstream and RGC Midstream [4]. EQM Midstream is the majority owner and pipeline operator.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mountain Valley Pipeline, Virginia, USA
Country:United States of America
State or province:Virginia
Location of conflict:Pittsylvania
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Mountain Valley Pipeline runs 303 miles from West Virginia into Southern Virginia. Additionally, the MVP Southgate Extension would run 75 miles south from Virginia into North Carolina. The pipeline capacity would be 2 million dekatherms/day. The pipeline requires a 50' wide permanent easement, and during construction, the required width is 125 feet.

Project area:241,520
Level of Investment for the conflictive project6,600,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:60,000
Start of the conflict:2019
Company names or state enterprises:NextEra Energy from United States of America
EQM Midstream
CON Edison Transmission
WGL Midstream
RGC Midstream
Relevant government actors:EPA, FERC, Virginia Air Pollution Control Board, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, Regulatory boards in West VA and North Carolina.
International and Finance InstitutionsWells Fargo (WFC) from United States of America
PNC Bank from United States of America
SunTrust from United States of America
Bank of the West from United States of America
US Bank National Association from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Sierra Club:
Appalachian Voices:
Appalachians against Pipelines:
Wild Virginia
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Appalachian Mountain Advocates
Pittsylvania County NAACP
Over 650 groups signed a letter opposing the pipeline, including
Climate Justice Alliance, Green New Deal Network, People vs Fossil Fuels Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Indigenous Environmental Network, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Oil Change International, Oxfam America, Sunrise Movement, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, along with progressive political organizations Center for Popular Democracy, Indivisible, MoveOn, NAACP, Our Revolution, People's Action, and Public Citizen.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Monacan, Cheyenne River Sioux, Occaneechi-Saponi and Rosebud Sioux
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Oil spills, Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Violations of human rights, Displacement
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Proposal and development of alternatives:Stop construction
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although resistance has greatly delayed the project, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has prioritized completion of the pipeline, In 2022, with support of Democratic leadership, he introduced new federal legislation to require completion of the project.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[4] FERC Final Environmental Impact Statement
[click to view]

[1] Educating 4 Democracy
[click to view]

[2] WVTF Virginia Public Radio “MVP Southgate drops eminent domain proceedings in North Carolina, at least for now”
[click to view]

[3] WVTF Virginia Public Radio “State regulators deny necessary permit for MVP Southgate compressor station in Pittsylvania County”
[click to view]

[5] WHSV news: "2 more violation notices issued to Mountain Valley Pipeline". 6/19/2018
[click to view]

[6] WHSV news: "Virginia DEQ issues violation for Mountain Valley Pipeline" 7/10/2018
[click to view]

[7] WV public news
[click to view]

[8] Bloomberg: Key U.S. Natural Gas Pipeline Delayed as Costs Grow to $6.6 Billion
[click to view]

[9]NPR: "West Virginians divided over natural gas pipeline despite Manchin's support"
[click to view]

[10] New York Times: Manchin Won a Pledge From Democrats to Finish a Contested Pipeline
[click to view]

[11] Inside Climate News: "Pressing Safety Concerns, Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Gear Up for the Next Round of Battle"
[click to view]

[12] Roanoke Times: Pipeline opponents sentenced to spend day in jail for each day in tree-sit protest
[click to view]

[13] Washington Post: "Appalachian, Indigenous pipeline foes protest climate deal"
[click to view]

[14] Washington Post: "Appalachian, Indigenous pipeline foes say climate deal ‘left us to burn’"
[click to view]

[15] MVP investor takes $15M impairment on pipeline
[click to view]

[16] Associated Press: "Mountain Valley seeks to unmask critical Facebook group" 9/6/2021
[click to view]

[17] Blue Ridge Outdoors: "214 Days: Tree sitters have blockaded the Mountain Valley Pipeline for seven months. Here’s what motivates them to persist." 4/16/19
[click to view]

[18] Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon. (Study by Indigenous Environmental Network and Oil Change International)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:John Sandberg, [email protected]; Lowery Parker, [email protected]
Last update16/01/2023
Conflict ID:5714
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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