Mt Valley Pipeline Hits a Speed Bump

In case you once followed the progress (or potential devastation) of the 42-inch Mountain Valley Fracked-unNatural Gas Pipeline but had wandered away from the topic, seeing its opposition as a spitting-into-the-wind lost cause, you might want to take a few minutes to come up to speed.

It seems Mt Valley does not have a free pass to our forests, mountain vistas, ground water and precious places just yet. But the fox is now guarding the henhouse, even as likely thousands of late-indigenous Appalachians would put their own safety and freedom on the line, as my friend David Seriff (of a potentially MVP-impacted Blacksburg neighborhood) suggests:

Seriff: Will Standing Rock happen here? – Roanoke Times

Standing Rock Part 2? 16,000 Sign Petition Demanding West Virginia Gas Pipeline Be Stopped – Washington DC, DC Patch

EPA finds fault with environmental review of Mountain Valley Pipeline | Nelson News | 

Regional governments bash pipeline impact statement | Nelson News | 

An environmental news group from Roanoke ends their last newsletter as follows, indicating the fat lady is yet to sing:

The Bureau of Land Management states that:

FERC has failed to show a need for the project and seems to be concerned with the needs of the pipeline company rather than the needs they should be addressing for the nation The use of federal eminent domain from so many landowners – and BLM states that they listened to landowners – requires a very strong public need, which has not been established.
Hopefully we could have the following process outcomes recommended by DOI:

– A new or supplemental DEIS that meets the legal requirements identified by the DOI and others
– An additional comment period
– True public hearings by the BLM in areas affected by the pipeline proposal – rather than the sham hearings held by FERC November.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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