From Rep. Jennifer McClellan (D-VA04):
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan (VA-04) sent a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Willie Phillips, urging the agency lengthen the public comment period for Mountain Valley Pipeline’s (MVP) requested extension of its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. This certificate is needed for construction of the MVP Southgate pipeline, which would span from southern Virginia into northwestern North Carolina.
“Given the substantial permitting and legal challenges to MVP and MVP Southgate, I request FERC provide a 45-calendar day comment period to allow affected communities sufficient time to voice their concerns about this project,” wrote Congresswoman McClellan. “The current 15-day comment period over a Federal holiday is an extraordinarily short timeline to receive sufficient community input—especially since many rural communities impacted lack the broadband internet access necessary for timely notification about the proposed extension. It is imperative that impacted communities have the appropriate amount of time to meaningfully participate in this process.”
Congresswoman McClellan also noted the significant threats the MVP Southgate pipeline poses to local communities and the environment in Virginia and North Carolina.
“These issues include threats to water resources in Virginia and North Carolina. Notably, the Virginia State Conference NAACP raised concerns about the potential harms of the Lambert Compressor Station to the local community, which includes a significant number of Black residents,” continued Congresswoman McClellan. “I urge FERC to extend the deadline for public comment on this extension request to allow more time for the public and impacted stakeholders to consider the proposal. Failure to do so would inevitably silence the voices of too many in these communities.”
Read Congresswoman McClellan’s full letter here.
Background: Since her swearing-in, Congresswoman McClellan has been a fierce advocate for environmental justice. She is a proud member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) and an original cosponsor of the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act, the most comprehensive piece of environmental justice legislation ever developed. Following the release of the legislative text for the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Congresswoman McClellan quickly mobilized and led the entire Virginia Democratic House delegation in submitting an amendment to strip the provision greenlighting completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.