Behind schedule Mountain Valley Pipeline wants permit extension / Public News Service

Developers of a more than 300-mile gas pipeline that would cross North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia are seeking a permit extension until fall 2026 to complete its main line. The permit is due to expire in October.

Ridge Graham, North Carolina field coordinator for Appalachian Voices, said the proposal to run an additional pipeline in North Carolina poses a threat to residents. He explained the compressor stations used to channel leaking gas methane and other toxic chemicals harmful to nearby communities. He also pointed out that land use is a major issue.

“There are threats to private property, in terms of trying to confiscate land from people in North Carolina, to try to build these pipelines,” Graham said.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is accepting public comment on the proposed Mountain Valley pipeline expansion through Friday. The developers say the project is over 90% complete, but critics dispute that claim.

Graham argued that instead of greenlighting natural gas projects, the state should work toward its goal of dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy, to combat the effects of climate change.

“We should be looking at more truly renewable solar and wind capacity,” Graham argued. “The whole project is really facing uncertainty both for the extension and for the mainline itself.”

Since construction of the pipeline began four years ago, the project has racked up hundreds of water quality violations in multiple states and faced numerous outstanding permits needed to complete the project.

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