MVP Sued for Erosion Damage

The Roanoke Times reported on May 30, 2018, that “Six Franklin County landowners are suing Mountain Valley Pipeline“, claiming their property was damaged by the company’s failure to control storm water runoff from a construction site. “Mountain Valley has shown a ‘startling disregard’ for the impacts of building a natural gas pipeline on its neighbors, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. After heavy rains that started May 15, a swath of bare land that crews had cleared for the pipeline’s right of way became a channel for erosion, covering nearby Cahas Mountain Road with about 8 inches of mud.”

The plaintiffs’ suit states that inadequate erosion control caused a blanket of sediment and muddy water to swamp hay fields and make its way into nearby streams on their properties. “The landowners are asking a judge to do what they say state regulators have not: order a stop to construction until Mountain Valley has taken steps to ensure that the next heavy rain will not unleash another mudslide.”

Although the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality temporarily halted construction, there has been no formal stop-work order, and construction was allowed to resume on May 22.

MVP refused to comment on the lawsuit. DEQ and Mountain Valley officials have said none of the sediment had reached nearby Little Creek or other streams. However, the article reports, “That assertion was challenged by the lawsuit, which cited an email from DEQ employee Elizabeth Abe to one of her colleagues. Abe described a stream along nearby Brick Church Road ‘so choked with mud that no water was flowing,’ according to the lawsuit. The email also reported that Abe saw no erosion control devices installed at the worksite.”

Read the full article here.