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USDA Forest Service Approves Mountain Valley Pipeline Project

Roanoke, Virginia (Dec. 1, 2017) - Today, the USDA Forest Service issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to amend the Jefferson National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) to allow for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP Project). The Forest Service’s ROD modifies certain standards in the Forest Plan to accommodate the pipeline construction and requires measures to minimize environmental impacts. The agency will also provide a letter of concurrence for the MVP Project to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM is responsible for approving pipelines that cross federal lands under the jurisdiction of two or more federal agencies, but must have the concurrence of the involved agencies. These actions are necessary steps in order for the MVP Project to be built on National Forest System lands.

“Our decision supports U.S. Forest Service efforts to provide for multiple uses, minimize impacts to natural resources, and to implement federal policies that encourage energy infrastructure, jobs, and economic growth,” said Forest Supervisor, Joby Timm.

The MVP Project will traverse a total of 303 miles to deliver natural gas produced in the Appalachian Basin to markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern United States. The MVP Project will cross 3.6 miles of the Jefferson National Forest in Monroe County, West Virginia and Giles and Montgomery counties in Virginia. The MVP Project will impact about 83 acres of the Forest during construction and after restoration, will require about 42 acres for long term operation. The operational corridor for the pipeline will be 50 feet wide. The pipeline route on the Forest will also cross the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Brush Mountain Inventoried Roadless Area.

On October 13, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (Certificate) authorizing the entire pipeline route subject to the conditions outlined in the Certificate. The FERC was the lead federal agency in preparing the Environmental Impact Statement for the project, and is responsible for approving the MVP Project in its entirety. The proponent, Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, must also obtain approval from the BLM to construct and operate the MVP Project on federal lands. Construction on the Jefferson National Forest is anticipated to be completed in 2018.

More information about the MVP Project and the Forest Service ROD can be viewed on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests’ webpage.

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