As more and more new proposals for the Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline showed a shift of the route through going further and further north, it started to look like EQT and its partners were looking for a way to avoid Floyd County and shift the route through Roanoke County.
On Tuesday, EQT admitted that stronger and more organized opposition to the pipeline’s plans to wreak havoc on the environment, lay waste to the view shed and threaten Floyd’s already fragile water table has led the count to look north and into Roanoke County.
EQT has already contacted some 55 landowners in Roanoke County about placing the pipeline on their properties and spokesmen admits that Floyd County is off the table for now and possibly out of the picture altogether.
The no route is yet final and no one between that fracking field in West Virginia and the distribution center in Chatham can be complacent and think the battle is over.
Still, EQT — and others — misjudged the sleepy Southwestern Virginia county’s ability to organize confront a desire to slice through the rustic environment of Floyd County.
EQT officials confirmed the latest revised route proposal is excluding Floyd County. Spokeswoman Natalie Cox told Duncan Adams of The Roanoke Times said the route revision is a result of the company’s “continuing efforts to select the most optimal route with the least overall impact to the environment, landowners and communities.”
Much of the credit for the company’s apparent change of heart goes to Mara Robbins and the Citizens Preserving Floyd County operation and a demand from the Board of Supervisors to EQT and its partners to put a stop on any actions until they came before the board and county residents with some answers.
EQT still has the proviso that nothing is permanent yet and a final route is still pending. A source within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission tells us that they want EQT and others to leave an environmentally-sensitive area like Floyd County alone.
The battle is far from over but the it is looking better for Floyd County — for the time being.