The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a proposed 303-mile, 42-inch-diameter interstate natural gas pipeline. It would transport highly pressurized natural gas from the fracking region of northern West Virginia to a connection with the existing interstate Transco line in Virginia. MVP would cut through nearly 200 miles in West Virginia, including 20 miles in Monroe County. It would cross Indian Creek near Greenville, and severely impact both Indian Creek and Rich Creek watersheds.
The pipeline is opposed by many landowners, communities and environmental groups not only because of its unprecedented size and hazardous route, but because there is no public need.
FERC — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is charged by Congress with evaluating interstate natural gas pipeline projects, taking into consideration both environmental impacts and public benefit and need. Public involvement has been intense, finding major inadequacies and inaccuracies in MVP’s application and serious flaws in FERC’s process for reviewing environmental impacts and engaging landowners and other stakeholders. On October 13, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued decisions approving both the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. ICWA and other organizations and individuals continue to challenge the certificate.
WVDEP —WVDEP has the responsibility and authority to ensure the quality of the waters of West Virginia. DEP approved the Oil and Gas Construction Stormwater Permit allowing MVP pipeline construction along the entire route in WV. DEP also approved the WV Natural Streams Preservation Act Permit for crossing the Greenbrier River. As a watershed association committed to the protection of Monroe County’s water, ICWA submitted numerous comments during the WVDEP’s Public Comment period that documented significant risks to water resources in the county and along the route. ICWA has also joined with other environmental organizations and affected landowners to challenge these permits.
US Army Corps of Engineers —An Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 404 permit is required for MVP to cross the streams, rivers, and wetlands. WVDEP waived its authority to issue a 401 Water Quality Certification which would have required individual permits for each of the stream crossings in WV. ICWA has also joined with other environmental organizations to challenge ACE 404 permit giving MVP permission to cross waterways and wetlands under blanket Nationwide Permit 12 giving MVP which does not require analyses of each individual site-specific water crossing.
US Forest Service (Jefferson National Forest) and the Appalachian Trail — MVP’s route crosses about 3.5 miles of the Jefferson National Forest, including a section that begins in Monroe County and crosses the Appalachian Trail on the ridge of Peters Mountain. In December 2017 the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management issued permission for MVP to construct the pipeline through the JNF and across the Appalachian Trail. There has been strong public outcry against this assault on Peters Mountain, including forceful opposition by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. In late July 2018 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Forest Service permit causing a stay on construction within the Jefferson National Forest.
Eminent Domain –– Because FERC issued a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, MVP may sue landowners who have refused to negotiate easement contracts, using the power of eminent domain. Landowners along the MVP route have challenged that this is unconstitutional.
Water testing information for landowners concerned about the MVP. If you are on or near the proposed MVP route and concerned about the safety of your water, please see ICWA’s Water Testing Information here.
ICWA and others are continuing to challenge decisions by federal and state agencies and to monitor, document and report construction violations.
- Ernst Kastning’s reports about geologic hazards in karst regions of VA and WV
- Pamela Dodds’ reports about hydrogeology in Monroe and Summers Counties
- Cultural Attachment report by Applied Cultural Ecology
- Economic Costs of the MVP by Key-Log Economics
ICWA’s Interactive Environmental Map
We welcome your help to defend West Virginia’s precious water resources!
- Use the map to identify critical risks and sensitivities. Send your comments about potential impacts to the FERC, the WV Department of Environmental Protection, the US Army Corps of Engineers, legislators, and others. Click to view or print a Quick-Start PDF guide.
- Share your ideas and suggestions. Email us at IndianCreekWater@gmail.com.
To support Here are two ways to support future development of the Interactive Environmental Mapping Project:
- Send a check: Please make your check payable to Indian Creek Watershed Association or ICWA, and indicate “Environmental Map Project” on the check. Mail to: Indian Creek Watershed Association, P.O. Box 711, Union, WV 24983.
- Donate on-line:
ICWA is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.