Jul 18, 2018

Mountain Valley Pipeline Faces Erosion Control Violations

The controversial pipeline’s construction may be slowed down by erosion control violations

Erosion control failures along Mountain Valley Pipeline
Erosion control failures along Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a nine-page notice of violations to EQT Corp., the energy company building the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The pipeline has already received four violations from West Virginia regarding failure to implement erosion control solutions. The notice issued by Virginia DEQ cites violations of the Virginia Stormwater Management Act, the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law, the Virginia Water Protection Permit Program and the Clean Water Act, as reported by The Roanoke Times.

The controversial natural gas pipeline is designed to span approximately 303 miles across West Virginia and Virginia. With an estimated cost of $3 billion, the pipeline owners aim to complete construction by the end of the year. However, the recent notice of violation by DEQ may slow the project down, as erosion and sediment control issues led the project to stop work in Virginia in late June. 

According to the violation notice, the pipeline has failed to build approved erosion and sediment  control structures, such as water bars, and failed to repair damaged sediment control facilities. Furthermore, the notice cites inadequately maintained erosion control devices that released sediment-laden storm water into a combined 2,800 ft of two streams near Cahas Mountain Road in Franklin County, Va. The notices also cites areas where storm water flowed over barriers affecting a combined 6,009 ft of four streams in Franklin, Montgomery and Roanoke counties. 

The notice of violation follows a lawsuit filed in late May by landowners against the Mountain Valley Pipeline over failure to control storm water runoff and erosion from their construction sites. The suit pointed to construction site runoff that turned into an eroded channel and mudflow of nearly 8 in. following heavy spring rains. In that instance, Virginia DEQ found no erosion control devices installed.