Construction and operation of the MVP Southgate project would result in limited adverse impacts, and “no other alternative would meet the purpose of the project, be technically and economically feasible, and provide a significant environmental advantage,” according to a comprehensive analysis by staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The positive findings, published in the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), mark a significant milestone in the federal regulatory process. The FEIS will be considered by the federal commission members, who are expected to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity this year for the proposed 75-mile interstate natural gas transmission pipeline.
The project is targeted to enter service in 2021. It is designed to provide an additional needed supply of natural gas to homes and businesses served by Dominion Energy North Carolina (formerly PSNC Energy), which has signed a long-term contract to be the pipeline’s anchor shipper.
Among the conclusions from FERC staff:
- Mountain Valley’s compliance with applicable design, construction and maintenance standards, and DOT safety regulations would be protective of public safety. (Page ES-9)
- The project is not expected to permanently affect surface or ground water resources. (Page ES-5)
- The project is not likely to have a significant adverse impact on property values. (Page ES-7)
- At the Dan River, where Mountain Valley plans to use horizontal directional drilling to cross beneath the waterbody, no in-stream disturbance is anticipated (Page 4-39)
- No impacts would be expected to Jordan Lake’s water quality or function. (Page 4-43)
The project team continues to work with the FERC and other federal and state agencies in order to obtain the permits necessary before construction can begin.