The latest route for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), the proposed natural gas pipeline proposed to run from a fracking operation in West Virginia to a pumping station in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, comes close to the northeast tip of Floyd County in the Bent and Poor Mountain areas of Roanoke County and still threatens the ecological and environmental quality of life in the Southwestern Virginia part of the Old Dominion.
Opponents of the project, which originally proposed slicing through Floyd County, still see the planned pipeline as a major threat to the area’s fragile water system.
The route now proposed in MVP’s formal filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) runs through parts of Giles, Craig, Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties.
It passes through the Poor and Bent Mountain areas near the junction of Franklin and Roanoke counties but does not touch any of Floyd. However, the route is still “subject to revision” by FERC and MVP.
Preserve Floyd and county activist Mara Robbins fought a vigorous and successful campaign against MVP when the proposed route cut through the county along parts of Little River and Shooting Creek in Floyd and into Franklin County.
The current formal application by MVP now faces a year-long review of environmental and economic impact.
Even though the current route bypasses Floyd County, construction — particularly in nearby areas of Montgomery and Roanoke counties — can still affect the northern end of the county and the water quality and availability in a rural county where wells depend on fragile fissures throughout the region.
Assistant Roanoke County administrator Richard Caywood told Duncan Adams of The Roanoke Times that “the route depicted in the MVP news release continues to have a significant impact on Roanoke County’s Poor Mountain and Bent Mountain communities.” Caywood said the county government will “closely monitor” the situation.
Bill Wolf of Preserve Craig says;
The FERC is facilitating unprecedented alterations of landscapes and communities without due recognition of the impacts. The gas industry boom has outstripped the agency’s function and capacity, and is putting our own water security at risk.
The MVP application press release claims that the new route solves a range of problems, including avoiding karst and steep slope issues. However, both issues are still quite present and unsolved on the proposed route. Steep and dangerous.