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Politics, State/National

McClellan pushes FERC to lengthen public comment period for Mountain Valley Pipeline

Mountain Valley Pipeline
(© Malachi Jacobs – Shutterstock)

The Mountain Valley Pipeline has requested an extension of its Certificate of Public Convenience of Necessity.

The certificate is necessary for construction of the MVP Southgate pipeline from southern Virginia into northwestern North Carolina.

Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan of Virginia’s District 4 sent a letter today to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chairman Willie Phillips urging the agency to lengthen the public comment period for the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s (MVP) requested extension.

“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,” McClellan said. “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.”

McClellan, an advocate for environmental justice, noted in her letter 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 residentsI 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.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.