Mountain Valley Pipeline project delayed for impact statement

Construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline was slated to start in December. However, construction on the $3.5 million, 300-mile natural gas pipeline could be delayed until next summer after the Federal Emergency Regulatory Commission said recently the final Environmental Impact statement will likely be released in March 2017. After the release, FERC commissioners have 90 days to make a decision on whether to green or red light the projects. With those delays the earliest construction can start is June 2017. The proposed pipeline would transport about 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day from the Mobley Interconnect in Wetzel County to a compressor station in Virginia. The proposed pipeline is a partnership between EQT Corp. and NextEra Energy Inc., and would travel through 10 West Virginia counties, including Monroe, Summers, Greenbrier and Nicholas in the southern part of the state. A preliminary draft of the Environmental Impact Statement is due in September. Opponents of the pipeline said the decision is welcome. Howdy Henritz of Monroe County said the delay will allow organizations to complete more scientific studies on the impact the pipeline will have on the environment.