Home Energy and Environment BREAKING: North Carolina DEQ Denies 401 Certification for Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate...

BREAKING: North Carolina DEQ Denies 401 Certification for Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate Project, Cites “uncertainty of the MVP Mainline project’s completion”

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Verrrry interesting breaking news regarding the proposed 70-mile “Southgate” extension of the fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project from Virginia into North Carolina. As the North Carolina DEQ points out in its denial of a 401 Water Quality Certification, completion of the MVP itself is uncertain, and if it weren’t completed, then obviously the Southgate extension wouldn’t be either…so why suffer the adverse water quality impacts and environmental damage if it’s “unnecessary?”

Of course, in reality, the entire project’s not just “unnecessary,” but terribly misguided, in that literally the *last* thing we should be doing right now – given both the climate crisis and the economics of various types of energy – is building new fossil fuel infrastructure. How about we just kill this absurd boondoggle outright, and turn our full attention towards building a clean energy economy ASAP?!? Hint, hint, Virginia DEQ?!?

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources has denied the request for a 401 Water Quality Certification and Jordan Lake Riparian Buffer Authorization for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) Southgate project. Due to uncertainty surrounding the completion of the MVP Mainline project, the Division has determined that work on the Southgate extension could lead to unnecessary water quality impacts and disturbance of the environment in North Carolina. 

The uncertainty of the MVP Mainline project’s completion presents a critical risk to the achievability of the fundamental purpose of MVP Southgate. As the Environmental Impact Statement noted, most of the adverse environmental impacts would occur during construction. Thus, the Division finds it is inappropriate to unnecessarily risk impacting high‐quality waters and critical drinking water supplies of North Carolinians.

P.S. As this article explains, the MVP’s claims regarding how much of the pipeline have been completed appear to be *highly* exaggerated.