ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Federal regulators have given the developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline another four years to complete the long-delayed natural gas project.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission made the unanimous decision late Tuesday, the Roanoke Times reported. The new deadline for completion of the 303-mile pipeline spanning portions of West Virginia and Virginia is Oct. 13, 2026.
Mountain Valley, which asked for the extension in June, praised FERC’s decision and said it hopes to have the pipeline finished by late 2023. The project still needs to regain three sets of federal permits that were previously struck down in the courts.
“As outlined in the order … FERC commissioners agreed that a four-year extension is reasonable given judicial review of new permits and that Mountain Valley has continued to actively pursue project construction,” spokeswoman Natalie Cox wrote in an email to the newspaper.
Environmental advocates criticized the decision. Pipeline construction has previously led to erosion and sediment control violations in southwest Virginia.
“Apparently FERC has simply chosen to ignore the piles of evidence in the record of the harms MVP has wrought on the people and waters in its way,” said David Sligh with the group Wild Virginia.
The pipeline is a joint venture of five energy companies.