Curtis Tate Published

Mountain Valley Pipeline Wins Key Federal Approval

Large energy companies scheduled at least 93 meetings with FERC officials from mid-2010 through 2016. By contrast, records show, FERC commissioners met with environmental and public-interest groups 17 times over this period.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline won a key approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday.

FERC signed off on a plan to bore under about 180 streams to place the pipeline rather than digging trenches through them.

The 300-mile, 42-inch-diameter pipeline is intended to transport natural gas from northern West Virginia to mid-Atlantic markets.

The project still faces other regulatory hurdles. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court threw out other federal permits the pipeline needs to move forward.

U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito have been pushing for expedited approval of the project’s remaining permits.

Environmental groups have mounted legal challenges to the project, citing its impact on water quality and endangered species.

They also oppose hydraulic fracturing, the technique used to extract the natural gas from underground shale formations.