Curtis Tate Published

Mountain Valley Pipeline Bursts During Pressure Testing In Virginia

An aerial photo of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The unfinished project is seen in a trench in the middle of a green forest.
An aerial photo of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Mountain Valley Watchers

A section of the Mountain Valley Pipeline ruptured during pressure testing Wednesday in Roanoke County, Virginia, according to a report from the state’s environmental agency.

A landowner observed sediment-laden water in her pasture on Wednesday morning and reported it to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

The agency sent a construction compliance expert to investigate the origin of the water.

“The origin of the sediment-laden water reported in the complaint was from the rupture of a section of pipe during hydrostatic testing the morning of 5/1/2024,” wrote the expert, John McCutcheon.

The 300-mile MVP is undergoing pressure testing with water in anticipation of beginning operations later this month.

MVP’s builder, Equitrans Midstream, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to put the natural gas pipeline in service after May 23.

The company entered an agreement with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last year to ensure sections of pipe that had been exposed to the elements had not lost their corrosion-resistant coating.

Court challenges led to long pauses in construction until Congress last year required the project’s completion.

In its first quarter earnings report Tuesday, Equitrans Midstream said the project’s cost had increased to $7.85 billion, more than twice the original estimate.

McCutcheon’s report indicated that crews were preparing the site of the rupture for repairs.