Public Statement: Major Changes to the proposed MVP Southgate Route Would Exclude Alamance and much of Rockingham

The new proposed route would only extend 31 miles from the terminus of the MVP mainline in Chatham, VA into Rockingham, likely at the East Tennessee interconnect. The final route proposal has not yet been published.

MVP Southgate released a major change in their proposal over the holidays. “In an end-of-year Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Equitrans Midstream said they were halving their plans for the pipeline’s MVP Southgate extension from 75 miles to 31 and cutting down the number of water crossings by removing Alamance County, North Carolina, from the route. The developers are also dropping plans for a new polluting compressor station in Pittsylvania County. In 2021, the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board denied the proposed compressor station’s air permit on environmental justice grounds. The plans announced yesterday are not final. The developer said it expects “to finalize the scope of the redesigned project after it conducts an open season and executes any additional agreements for firm capacity.” Read full press release here.

Though this is not the celebratory moment we hoped for with a total cancellation of the project, we want to acknowledge the tireless work that our organization and others in the coalition, including many landowners have done over the past six years to stop this project.

Haw River Assembly, Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, 7Directions of Service, POWHR, ARTivism Virginia, Southern Environmental Law Center, Center for Biological Diversity,Food and Water Watch,350 Triangle, NC Newsline, and many individual landowners and community members have given so much of their time organizing community meetings, meeting with elected officials, and translating complicated utilities commission notes and court filings into strategy and action plans.After six years of organizing and fighting against this project, we are able to give some relief to our communities in Rockingham and Alamance who have been eagerly awaiting the end of MVP Southgate. Through these six years, we have created major hurdles and delays, we’ve worked with hundreds of impacted community members, and strengthened a coalition of advocates fighting fossil fuel projects. These hurdles ultimately resulted in a major change and confirms what we’ve been saying all along. This pipeline is not needed. We will continue to work with our coalition to stop this unnecessary pipeline from causing harm to communities along the new proposed route. 

No longer impacting the Haw River watershed, but who will be impacted?

The proposed route of MVP Southgate has changed dramatically, and will likely result in an amended docket or a new project altogether. The new proposal is to change the route from a 75 mile long 18″ in diameter pipeline through Rockingham and Alamance counties to a 31 mile long 30″ in diameter pipeline through northern Rockingham, Caswell, and Person counties. This new proposal would impact the Dan and Neuse watersheds, cross significantly less streams in half the distance, but increase the blast zone with a larger pipe. This proposal also has fewer hurdles because it would be a lateral pipeline project and may not require FERC approval. We are awaiting final approval for this change from FERC, and will be looking for the new proposed route to start organizing a new group of impacted community members.

Posted in From The River: Blog