Pipeline Loses Permit Bid

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The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) has again rejected issuing a water permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) Southgate Extension. A hearing officer had recommended that the 401 water quality certification be granted with the condition that construction cannot occur until MVP, which would feed gas into the system, has resolved "all legal ambiguities ... and all necessary permits and authorizations have been obtained.” But the state Division of Water Resources concluded "that a conditional approval in these circumstances does not provide the reasonable assurance of compliance with water quality requirements." MVP is in the process of obtaining a water permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, which the agency said would take until December to complete (NGW Apr.19'21). Southgate is separate from MVP and has an independent state and federal review process. It would run 75 miles from MVP's terminus in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to Rockingham and Alamance Counties, North Carolina. Southgate project spokesman Shawn Day told Energy Intelligence a conditional approval "would have satisfied the NCDEQ’s concerns about the separate Mountain Valley Pipeline project while recognizing the significant collaborative work by the project team and NCDEQ staff over the past two years. The MVP Southgate project team is evaluating its options."

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