PHMSA Raises Safety Concerns Over Mountain Valley Pipeline in Formal Notice

"The notice came as a federal court dismissed three lawsuits that challenged permits for the pipeline following a directive by lawmakers to fast track its completion."

"Federal regulators have sent a proposed safety order to the developers of the contentious and highly politicized Mountain Valley Pipeline citing concerns over potential pipe corrosion and land movement in the steep mountain terrain the pipeline will cross in West Virginia and Virginia.

In the proposed order, issued Aug. 11, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) noted that conditions may exist along the Mountain Valley Pipeline that “pose a pipeline integrity risk to public safety, property, or the environment” and “may present immediate risk if the pipeline is commissioned without remediation.”

The safety notice states that the regulator’s concerns “require a comprehensive evaluation to identify and remediate integrity issues, mitigate the risk, and protect public safety, property, and the environment.”

The notice is a proposal rather than a final order and its impact on completion of the pipeline project remains unclear. The pipeline’s primary owner, Equitrans Midstream Corporation, has 30 days to submit an initial response to PHMSA’s notice and can challenge the agency’s findings."

Phil McKenna reports for Inside Climate News August 22, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 08/23/2023