FERC has issued a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Southgate Project proposed by Mountain Valley Pipeline for the construction and operation of certain interstate natural gas transmission facilities.

The project would involve the construction and operation of 73.7 miles of 16-inch and 24-inch-diameter interstate natural gas transmission pipeline in Virginia and North Carolina. Mountain Valley also proposes to construct and operate a new compressor station (Lambert Compressor Station) in Virginia; four new metre stations; interconnects and taps; four pig launchers and receivers at three locations; eight mainline valves; and other associated facilities. Associated with construction of the proposed facilities would be contractor yards, staging areas, temporary extra workspaces, and access roads. The project is designed to transport 375 million cubic feet of gas per day.

“We conclude that approval of the Project would result in some adverse environmental impacts,” said FERC. “But these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels through implementation of our recommendations and Mountain Valley’s proposed avoidance, minimisation, and mitigation measures.” 

The following factors were also considered in its conclusions:

  • about 39 miles, or about 52.5 percent, of the 73.7-mile-long pipeline route would be constructed adjacent to existing rights-of-way;
  • Mountain Valley would minimise impacts on natural and cultural resources during construction and operation of the Project by implementing FERC’s Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation and Maintenance Plan and Mountain Valley’s Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures, its Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, and other Project-specific plans (e.g., Unanticipated Discovery of Historic Properties and Human Remains Plan, Horizontal Directional Drill Contingency Plan, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan, Exotic and Invasive Species Control Plan, Traffic Management Plan, and Landslide Mitigation Plan);
  • the FERC staff would complete the process of complying with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act prior to construction;
  • the FERC staff would complete consultation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and implement regulations at 36 CFR 800 prior to construction;
  • Mountain Valley would comply with all applicable federal requirements and associated air and noise regulatory requirements during construction and operation of the Project; and
  • an environmental inspection program and a third-party monitoring oversight program would be implemented to ensure compliance with the mitigation measures that become conditions of the FERC authorization.

For more information visit www.ferc.gov

29th July 2019