Category Archives: Construction

Rockfish Valley Foundation Files Comments To FERC on ACP

On July 15, 2018, Blue Ridge LIfe reported on the Rockfish Valley Foundation‘s comments filed with FERC on negative impacts of the Atlantic Coat Pipeline in the Rockfish Valley.

“‘The Rockfish Valley Foundation has concluded several months of research into Dominion’s impact on the Rockfish Valley, home to the Wintergreen Resort and the state’s most scenic Route 151 with its many breweries, cideries and wineries. It is also home to the Rockfish Valley foundation which presents trails for the public along the waterways, Spruce Creek Park and the RVF Natural History Center,’ RVF’s President and Chairman Peter A. Agelasto lll said. ‘Studies have been made of access roads proposed by Dominion and also other construction that will have a negative impact on the South Rockfish Valley Rural Historic district,’ Agelasto added.”

Click here to read the full document as filed.

More Than 150 MVP Water Quality Violations Revealed

Citizens trained in water quality monitoring have been on the ground since early spring to keep tabs on Mountain Valley Pipeline construction work. They have documented more than 150 problems of failed erosion controls that have left streams and fields muddied and even closed one road down. Where is the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality?

July 13, 2018 press release from the Sierra Club. Contact: Doug Jackson, 202.495.3045 or

More Than 150 MVP Water Quality Violations Revealed by Clean Water Advocates’ New Map Project – Mountain Valley Watch’s Map Shows Location and Imagery from Route of Fracked Gas Pipeline

Today, Mountain Valley Watch, a volunteer organization of concerned community members monitoring construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, released its Incident Reporting Map, giving the public and decision makers the first-ever cumulative look at the project’s consistent and ongoing water quality violations. The map details locations, dates, descriptions, and photos of erosion control failures and evidence of water pollution caused by construction of the MVP.

More than 150 incidents are shown on the Mountain Valley Watch Incident Report Map.

Sierra Club Virginia Chapter Pipelines Campaign Coordinator Kirk Bowers said, “This map shows an alarming pattern of erosion control problems, with more than 150 incidents observed since mid-April. As you can clearly see from the photos taken by observers, there is no doubt that MVP and Precision Pipeline failed to prevent sediment from polluting our streams and wetlands.

“Even though they are responsible for construction inspection, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality was noticeably absent from MVP construction sites until mid-May. DEQ finally issued a toothless Notice of Violation, but it is too little, too late. There is no right way to build these fracked gas pipelines. The only way to truly protect our water, climate, and communities from the fracked gas MVP is to abandon the project, which is not even needed.”

Mountain Valley Watch Administrator Jason Shelton said, “Volunteers and landowners have shown the approved erosion and sediment control devices are consistently ineffective and overwhelmed by typical Appalachian storms. The incident mapping shows why Virginians needed DEQ onsite from the beginning of construction.”

Russell Chisholm with Protect Our Water Heritage Rights (POWHR) said, “The incidents shown in this map clearly indicate not only a need for increased presence of DEQ inspectors on the site of construction, but also for DEQ to be more willing to hold the corporation and its contractors accountable to the plans that were approved by the agency for the project. Volunteers have been doing a vast amount of work monitoring and reporting the issues they see in their own communities, but it’s time for DEQ to step up and take real enforcement action. DEQ should be enforcing the law, not managing mitigation after damage has already been done.”

DEQ Gives Notice to MVP on Violations

On July 10, 2018, both the Roanoke Times and WSLS10 reported that the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has given EQT Corp. in Pittsburgh, builder of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a nine-page notice of environmental violations punishable by fines and repair mandates. The notice says MVP failed to install and maintain erosion-control devices has fouled 8,800 feet of streams in six locations.

Read the full Notice of Violation.

According to the Roanoke Times, “The Virginia notice is not a finding of guilt or liability but a set of allegations over which the company and regulators are to negotiate and reach agreement. In Virginia, fines for environmental violations of the type alleged can reach $32,000 per day. ‘We are holding MVP accountable and we expect full resolution of the issues,’ DEQ spokeswoman Ann Regn said Tuesday. …. The unexpectedly large rainfall won’t qualify as an excuse for not keeping sediment under control, said Regn, who added that the company is responsible for cleanup.”

The company has 10 days to respond – BUT they are allowed to keep working during the 10 days.

Landslide Caused June Pipeline Explosion in WV

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on July 11, 2018, that “Columbia Gas Transmission has told federal pipeline regulators that a landslide was the apparent cause of the rupture and explosion of a new natural gas pipeline in Marshall County, W.Va., last month. The site of the break was at the bottom of a steep hill on Nixon Ridge, just south of Moundsville. …. Lindsey Fought, a spokesperson with TransCanada, said the company is continuing to cooperate with federal authorities in the investigation. She confirmed that the federal pipeline agency and TransCanada’s ‘internal findings point to land subsidence as the cause of the rupture.”

According to the US Geological Survey Web page, “Land subsidence is a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the Earth’s surface owing to subsurface movement of earth materials.”

TransCanada, owner of Columbia Gas Transmission, touted the pipeline, which just started operation in January 2018, as “best-in-class,” exactly what Dominion says the ACP will be.

Writing in Blue Virginia on July 11, 2018, Jon Sokolow reminds us of the stories in late May and early June about Precision Pipeline (builder for the MVP), which had more than 50 post-completion landslides along a 55-mile non-mountainous pipeline route in Wisconsin. That’s approximately one landslide per mile.

The Sokolow article continues, “The landslide risks at issue in the Dominion/Precision Pipeline lawsuit are terrifying because the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines are proposed to be built through some of the steepest terrain in Virginia, with slopes as steep as 78% in places. This mountainous terrain is particularly susceptible to landslides when fill material generated by construction is deposited on slopes after the pipelines are buried.”

How many miles of steep slopes are there on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route? How many on the Mountain Valley Pipeline route? How many potential landslides?  How many potential explosions?

End of the Line: Episode 19, Mud

Listen to the new End of the Line podcast, Episode 19, Mud (Original air date: July 6, 2018). Pipeline fighters are keeping their promise to watch Mountain Valley Pipeline’s every move, catching almost daily construction failures that are damaging their creeks and streams, and doing the job that Virginia DEQ is either unable – or unwilling – to do.

An alternate image from End of the Line to go along with their latest Episode “MUD”: