Yesterday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) lifted a stop-work order along 70 miles of the Mountain Valley pipeline route, according to an E&E News article published today. The article writes:
On Aug. 3, FERC issued a stop-work order covering the entire 303-mile pipeline route after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated federal approvals from BLM and the Forest Service allowing the project to cross the Jefferson National Forest in southern Virginia. FERC ordered Mountain Valley to submit a “stabilization plan” to address stretches where construction activities had already commenced.
FERC stated that Thursday’s decision to lift the stop-work order on the first 77 miles of the pipeline was made in order to best protect the environment from problems that could be caused by partially completed work. The article expanded on this:
[FERC] said that “allowing completion of construction, including full restoration along the right-of-way” was the best option. “Maintaining the status quo would result in significant areas being subject to erosion and soil movement for an indeterminate period, possibly negatively affecting plant and wildlife habitat and adjacent water bodies,” FERC said.
Regulatory agencies play a critical role in the development of modern pipelines. Regulators like FERC ensure that proposed infrastructure is safe, thoughtfully planned, and as least intrusive as possible on the surrounding environment. Regulatory certainty is also important, as regulations must be consistent in order for developers to adequately plan, prepare, and construct new pipelines.
Regulation continues to play a vital role in the growth of modern energy infrastructure. GAIN looks forward to the safe completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline and its great contributions to fueling our country’s energy needs!