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FERC Approval of Variance Request No. MVP-019 (Mountain Valley Pipeline)
In Reply Refer To:
OEP/DG2E/G3 Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC
Via FERC Service
September 13, 2019
Matthew Eggerding, Counsel
Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC
625 Liberty Ave., Suite 1700
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Re: Approval of Variance Request No. MVP-019
Dear Mr. Eggerding:
I grant your request, filed on September 11, 2019, for Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC (Mountain Valley) to change the crossing method for 15 waterbodies and 8 wetlands between mileposts 6.5 and 65.4 from dry open-cuts to a conventional bore. Use of the bore construction technique will result in a reduction in impacts on aquatic resources and have other environmental benefits, as documented in Mountain Valley’s August 30, 2019 filing. (1)
This variance would not require tree felling. No historic properties would be affected.
The 15 waterbodies and 8 wetlands are located outside of the areas subject to MVP’s voluntary suspension of construction activities for the candy darter and Roanoke logperch. The waterbodies to be crossed by conventional bore are not navigable rivers that come under the jurisdiction of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, and communications between staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that no permits are necessary under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Your request is in compliance with Environmental Condition Nos. 1 and 5 of the Commission’s October 13, 2017 Order Issuing Certificates and Granting Abandonment Authority (Order) in the above-referenced docket. I remind you that Mountain Valley must comply with all applicable remaining terms and conditions of the Order.
See Accession No. 20190830-5205. While Mountain Valley’s assertions have been challenged by Indian Creek Watershed Association in a filing on September 9, 2019 (Accession No. 20190909-5035), the objection is mainly based on a theoretical statement in the FERC’s July 26, 2019 draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Southgate Project (Docket No. CP19-14-000) about potential risks from borings. However, as Mountain Valley has pointed out, in reality its previous bores for the Mainline Pipeline have been completed successfully.
If you have any questions regarding this authorization, please call me at 202-502- 8059.
Paul Friedman
Environmental Project Manager