The Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (MVP) told FERC late last week that it has received a series of key federal waterbody crossing permits, bolstering its case to restart construction on the 300-mile, 2 million Dth/d natural gas conduit.

The Huntington, WV, Pittsburgh and Norfolk, VA, districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have all completed Nationwide Permit 12 reviews for the pipeline, MVP said in a letter filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday. The developer submitted the information to supplement its request filed last Tuesday to restart construction on the pipeline.

As with other federal approvals for the embattled MVP project, the NWP 12 permitting came under scrutiny in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which vacated a key permit in 2018. That decision sent the Army Corps back to the drawing board to reevaluate MVP’s authorization to cross hundreds of streams and wetlands.

The NWP 12 approvals bring MVP closer to restarting construction on the Appalachia-to-Southeast transmission line. Work has been stalled since last fall, a result of setbacks concerning MVP’s Endangered Species Act approvals. Earlier this month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service updated its review of protected species, removing another regulatory roadblack for the project.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service has released a draft supplemental environmental impact statement concerning MVP’s proposed crossing through the Jefferson National Forest in Monroe County, WV, and Giles and Montgomery counties, VA.

MVP told FERC last month that it expects to have all remaining permits in hand by the end of this year. 

The 42-inch diameter MVP is designed to transport Marcellus and Utica shale gas from West Virginia into Virginia, where it would interconnect with the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line’s Station 165 compressor in Pittsylvania County.

EQM Midstream Partners LP would operate MVP and own “significant interest” in the pipeline, which is a joint venture with NextEra Capital Holdings Inc., Con Edison Transmission Inc., WGL Midstream and RGC Midstream LLC.