FERC this week granted Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC’s request to start work on six laydown yards and dozens of access roads in five West Virginia counties.
The authorization issued on Monday is the projects first allowing it to proceed with preliminary work on the 303-mile natural gas pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission noted that MVP has the necessary state and federal approvals to start building the six yards and 93 access roads in Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis and Braxton counties.
MVP would originate in West Virginia, cross into Virginia and connect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line to move more Marcellus and Utica shale gas to Southeast markets. It is a joint venture between EQT Midstream Partners LP, NextEra US Gas Assets LLC, Con Edison Transmission Inc., WGL Midstream and RGC Midstream LLC.
FERC approved the project, along with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, in a rare 2-1 split decision in October. The pipeline cleared its last remaining regulatory hurdles in West Virginia late last year, but state agencies must still sign off on it in Virginia where legal challenges remain as well. Dozens of opposition groups and individuals also have filed rehearing requests at FERC challenging the project’s certificate orders.
FERC said in its limited notice to proceed, which MVP filed for earlier this month, that its letter does not authorize construction activities anywhere else within the project area. Sponsors are targeting a 4Q2018 in-service date. FERC also recently approved limited tree felling for ACP, another greenfield project that would follow a similar path from West Virginia to bring more Appalachian shale gas to the Southeast.