The project will be developed, constructed, and owned by Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC.
MVP Southgate must obtain necessary regulatory authorizations from the FERC, the federal agency with primary jurisdiction over U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline construction projects. In addition to the FERC certificate application, the MVP Southgate project team will also seek review from numerous other federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Virginia and North Carolina departments of environmental quality, and other state and local agencies.
During the FERC pre-filing process and certificate application periods, the FERC must conduct a thorough review of the project, evaluating the need, proposed facility locations, and overall impacts of the construction and operation. The FERC process and the permitting processes of other federal and state agencies allow interested stakeholders multiple opportunities to comment on the proposed pipeline project. MVP Southgate will comply with all U.S. Department of Transportation safety requirements.
Community engagement is integral to the MVP Southgate development process, from new project development through all phases of permitting, construction and ongoing operations. A toll-free number, 833-MV-SOUTH, is available, as well as a website www.mvpsouthgate.com, and email firstname.lastname@example.org, to give stakeholders multiple ways to interact with the project team. We’ve begun the process of meeting with stakeholders to ensure that we listen early on in the process to any concerns and recommendations, and then incorporate feedback into our planning for this pipeline. We will continue to have these conversations as we proceed with this project. We will also host community open houses to introduce, discuss, and answer questions regarding the project. At each open house, we will provide information about the project, solicit input, and answer project-related questions.
The FERC is the federal government agency that regulates both the construction of interstate natural gas pipelines and the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce. Other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), also would review relevant parts of MVP Southgate. In addition, a number of local and state agencies would participate in planning and permitting the project.
The route selection process is conducted in a deliberate and thoughtful manner, utilizing experience and expertise of industry professionals. The pipeline route is designed to minimize the project’s impact on the environment, landowners, and communities. As the MVP Southgate project team refines the route during the planning and permitting process, we will consider a number of factors, including landowner concerns, environmental issues, cultural resources, and constructability. Wherever possible, the route will parallel existing utility easements. We will work closely with interested parties, including our neighbors and local, state, and federal agencies in selecting the preferred route.
A compressor station is a natural gas facility located along a pipeline route that compresses gas in the line to increase pressure, allowing it to flow through the line toward its intended destination. Friction and elevation changes induce pressure drop on natural gas traveling in a pipeline and must be periodically compressed to ensure consistent pressure and efficient delivery.
An easement provides an operator with a limited use of property for defined, specific purposes. The acquisition of an easement does not transfer ownership of the land to MVP Southgate; it does, however, give the project the right of access for construction, maintenance, and safe operation of the pipeline.
Both a permanent easement and a temporary construction easement will be needed for this project. The permanent easement is the room to maintain and operate the pipeline, while the temporary easement is used for work space during construction. A land agent, or representative of MVP Southgate, will contact you to discuss the agreements that cover the easements, payments for crops or timber that will be disturbed during the construction, and any access that will be needed for pipe and equipment.
A land agent is a professional who represents MVP Southgate and is the primary contact with the landowners along a proposed pipeline route. The land agent’s role is to make certain a landowner receives useful information about the MVP Southgate project. If you are a landowner that may be involved with the project, a land agent will be your primary contact and will work with you throughout the project.
Landowners are entitled to receive fair compensation for having a pipeline on their property. The goal of MVP Southgate is to obtain from the landowner the necessary land rights for the pipeline project. During the negotiations, the land company and the MVP Southgate project team will work with the landowner to address specific concerns they may have about their property. For additional information, please review the FERC, An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Lands – What Do I Need To Know?
We work extremely hard to negotiate right-of-way easements and fair compensation for the easement with each landowner. If the FERC approves the project and no agreement with the landowner is reached, the pipeline may acquire the easement under eminent domain with a court determining compensation if necessary.
It’s important to note that we only utilize eminent domain as the very last resort. Eminent domain is a right given to interstate natural gas pipeline companies by federal statute (the Natural Gas Act), and that gives pipelines the right to take private land for FERC-authorized use.
Generally, landowners will be able to utilize their land the same as they did before the easement and pipeline were located on their property. For example, agricultural activities such as growing crops and pasturing livestock can resume as soon as the land is ready, but Mountain Valley will need to operate the pipeline safely, so some restrictions may apply. The effect of any restrictions would be addressed as part of the pipeline easement agreement granted to the Project.
The permanent easement is typically 50 feet in width, with up to 100 feet of temporary easement during construction, depending on conditions, required to safely build MVP Southgate. At the end of construction, the land will be restored to near its original condition as possible.
The construction and operation of the pipeline is governed by strict state and federal environmental regulations. Routing near existing pipeline utility rights-of-way reduces the need to clear previously undisturbed land. Where clearing does occur, the MVP Southgate project team will work to minimize any impact to sensitive environmental areas. After the pipeline is in operation, the company will continue to adhere to the requirements of all applicable environmental permits.
Future activities along the route will consist of visual inspections by personnel flying over and walking the right of way, looking for any natural or manmade conditions that could impact the pipe or affect its safe operation. When pipeline maintenance work is needed, the project operator, will contact landowners in advance so that they are aware of the activity.
- Regional energy reliability and access to domestic, clean-burning natural gas
- Construction jobs and tax revenue generation
- During the design and construction of the project, the communities along the pipeline route will benefit from the commercial activities associated with the development of the pipeline, e.g. hotels, restaurants, retail