On May 20, 2019, the Roanoke Times reported Construction halted at Mountain Valley Pipeline work site following severe erosion in Franklin County, saying, “State regulators have put a stop to construction of part of the Mountain Valley Pipeline swamped by a rainstorm, saying work cannot continue until proper erosion control measures are established. Crews were using heavy equipment to cut trees and clear land along the natural gas pipeline’s right of way in Franklin County when heavy rains Thursday night and Friday morning swept away much of the soil they had unearthed.”
Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Ann Regn said DEQ will investigate why check dams and other erosion control measures failed to prevent the flow of mud, sediment, and muddy water. Even before the spring rain and thunderstorms began, regulators had received calls from the public concerned that heavy equipment being used to remove trees and clear a 125-foot swath for pipeline construction was exposing the land to potential runoff problems. Regulators have already documented other problems with MVP sediment and runoff control on the pipeline route, including on Forest Service roads.
Predictably, the “best in class” erosion control measures failed. Also predictably, MVP blamed all the problems on the weather.