What’s happening on the MVP Southgate fight?

Haw River Assembly, represented by Southern Environmental Law Center, has been approved to join the case to defend NC Department of Environmental Quality’s decision to deny the 401 permit. That decision, denied in August of 2020, was based heavily on the likelihood of MVP mainline not being successfully completed due to ongoing legal challenges, ballooning costs, and environmental violations. These challenges were also faced in the Atlantic Coast pipeline project, which was canceled and abandoned earlier this summer. 

No construction can begin without an approved 401 permit from NC Department of Environmental Quality. Meanwhile, MVP Southgate must still pay salaries for employees and other ongoing costs. Each delay is a significant setback for costs. 

The MVP mainline has requested route changes from FERC that would impact over 70 miles and 69 waterway and would use conventional bore stream crossing methods rather than open trench. This amendment request is being tracked and challenged by local groups in Virginia and West Virginia. 

Advocacy teams at Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, Center for Biological Diversity, and Oil Change International have begun holding meetings with MVP mainline investors to brief them on the ballooning costs of this project, to which they had not been previously informed. This MVP mainline project is currently 3 billion dollars over budget, which doubles the initial cost estimates, and 3 years behind schedule. As these costs go up, shareholders become more weary of receiving any return on investments, and they may pull their investments, ending the project.  Who are these investors? Big banks. Banks do not hold their customers’ money in the building, they use the money to invest in fossil fuel projects. Check out this report from Oil Change International, and make sure your money isn’t funding this fossil fuel projects.

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