From Wild Virginia:
U.S. Forest Service Ignores and Downplays Evidence on MVP Harms, Again Recommends Our National Forest be Sacrificed for Corporate Gain
On April 13, 2023, The U.S. Forest Service released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP). As it has done twice before, the Forest Service purports to have thoroughly analyzed the impacts of cutting and blasting across the Jefferson National Forest to install a 42-inch pipeline.
Based on that review, the FSEIS recommends “a project-specific amendment” to the management plan that is supposed to govern all activities on these public lands and that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issue a right of way for the pipeline. If these recommendations are followed by officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and BLM, some of our most precious natural treasures will be degraded. Those officials must reject this advice.
“Even a preliminary review shows that this environmental report is again grossly deficient,” stated David Sligh, Conservation Director at Wild Virginia. “The public gave the Forest Service a mountain of evidence that should have prompted it to improve on the draft SEIS but in some of areas it is clear that the agency has stubbornly held to the incomplete and inaccurate analysis it published in December, 2022.”
“It seems that Forest Service management is being guided more by the political pressures weighing on it than on the facts and the law,” Sligh said. “When this damaging scheme was first proposed, the scientists and resource experts at the Forest Service warned that the studies were insufficient and that construction of a major industrial project across these steep mountains and fragile forests could cause severe and permanent harms. That assessment has never been refuted, just papered over by bureaucratic language and evasions.”
“As we have done time and again, we will continue to expose the flaws in these federal actions and oppose bad decisions.”