Dec 04, 2018

Mountaineer XPress Pipeline Faces Erosion Control Violations

The pipeline joins a string of pipelines in the area fined for erosion and sediment control violations

Pipeline faces sediment control violations
Pipeline faces sediment control violations

Columbia Gas Transmission has been fined $122,350 by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a lack of sediment and erosion controls along the Mountaineer XPress Pipeline. The company building the pipeline is required to comply with the terms of its permits and submit a plan of corrective action in 20 days, according to the 206-page consent order detailing 16 different notices of violations issued between April and September.

Citations include failure to keep sediment-laden water from running off of the construction site and failure to prevent erosion, as reported by The Charleston Gazette-Mail. When completed, the pipeline will run 170 miles from Marshall County to Wayne County and tap into the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve.

Columbia Gas agreed to the draft order Nov. 8 and plans to pay the fee while addressing environmental concerns.

“It is important to note that since construction commenced across the project in the spring of 2018, we have taken each of these issues very seriously and implemented measures to address them as they were identified,” said Scott Castleman, spokesman for TransCanada, the parent company for Columbia Gas.

The Mountaineer XPress Pipeline is one of several pipelines currently under construction in the region and not alone in receiving violations for sediment and erosion control. The Mountain Valley Pipeline has received 19 violation notices from DEP and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has received two.

“It’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day–another pipeline, another long list of water quality violations,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “The cumulative effect of all of this new sediment in our streams is very concerning. At what point will we say enough is enough? Instead of taking a pause to take a closer look at impacts, we’re watching the damage pile up.”