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Mountain Valley Pipeline to proceed

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

On 3 June 2023, the President of the USA signed legislation that raises the nation's debt limit and ratifies and approves all permits and authorisations necessary for the construction and initial operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and directs the applicable federal officials and agencies to maintain such authorisations.

Further, and not later than 24 June 2023, the legislation requires the Secretary of the Army to issue all permits or verifications necessary to complete project construction and allow for MVP's operation and maintenance. The legislation also divests courts of jurisdiction to review agency actions on approvals necessary for MVP construction and initial operation. Given the legislation, and assuming the timely issuance of the few remaining authorisations, Equitrans Midstream, operator of the MVP, intends to work with its project partners to complete construction of the MVP project by year-end 2023, at an estimated total project cost of approximately US$6.6 billion.

"We are grateful for the full support of the White House, the strong bipartisan leadership of Democratic and Republican legislators, the resolute dedication of Senator Capito, and the unwavering commitment of Chairman Manchin for recognising and declaring MVP as a critical energy infrastructure project," said Thomas F. Karam, Chairman and CEO of Equitrans Midstream.

Karam continued, “The MVP project has gone through more environmental review and scrutiny than any natural gas pipeline project in US history, having been issued the same state and federal authorisations two and three times, only to have those authorisations be routinely challenged and vacated in court. Congressional involvement to legislate the approval of this project only magnifies the critical need for more robust and comprehensive permitting reform that goes beyond the important initial steps in this legislation. Absent a more certain regulatory review and approval process, we are impeding companies’ ability to invest capital, including in renewable projects, for the benefit of our nation’s economy, energy security, and energy affordability.”

The approval of this legislation expressly acknowledges the efforts of the state and federal agencies that have invested countless hours and worked diligently to develop comprehensive plans for constructing the pipeline with the least possible impact to the environment. Furthermore, the legislation recognises the many benefits of the MVP in advancing our energy security, bolstering our ability to effectively transition to a lower-carbon economy, and providing energy reliability and affordability for American consumers.

Spanning approximately 303 miles across West Virginia and Virginia, MVP will provide cost-effective access to natural gas for use by local distribution companies, industrial users, and power generation facilities in growing demand markets of the mid-Atlantic and southeast regions of the US. With the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, Mountain Valley will continue to work closely with all relevant agencies in reissuing the project’s few outstanding permits and will maintain its steadfast commitment to environmental protection to ensure the responsible completion of the project's remaining construction.

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