A controversial 300-mile gas pipeline that would cut through Virginia and West Virginia is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released a draft environmental review for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. Energy companies EQT and NextEra want to build the 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline at an estimated cost of $3.2 billion.
The draft review 4,189 acres would be disturbed during construction, crossing 245 miles of forest in Virginia and impacting 865 acres of core forest areas of forest in West Virginia. The 301 mile-long pipeline would require a 50-foot-wide permanent operational easement, and three compressor stations along the route.
Environmental opponents say the report does not sufficiently evaluate public need for the pipeline, citing a report that says the gas industry is overbuilding the pipeline infrastructure in the two states. FERC will accept comments on its environmental review until December 22nd.