VOF defers decision on MVP conversion application, supports FERC recommendation on access road

Update (7/26/2017): On July, 21 2017 MVP, LLC submitted an appeal to FERC on condition #16 of the FEIS, which would have required MVP, LLC to avoid the access road MVP-RO-279.01 on the VOF easement referenced below. VOF staff will continue to work with our Board of Trustees on the appropriate next steps.

At its June 22 meeting, the VOF board of trustees voted to defer a decision on an application from Mountain Valley Pipeline to convert approximately 0.6 acres of land under open space easement in Roanoke County for a permanent access road.

The following day, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline project and — citing letters from VOF and the landowner, Grace Terry — recommended against the access road, stating that “while Mountain Valley provided some of the information requested in our January 26, 2017 EIR, Mountain Valley did not provide adequate information to justify use of the access road. Based on the information provided, we determined that the apparent impacts of widening the access road outweigh the demonstrated need.”

FERC advised Mountain Valley Pipeline to file a segment-specific construction and operation access plan for the area that does not include the access road.

Prior to FERC’s announcement, the VOF board had set a date of July 24 to take further action on MVP’s conversion application, but that meeting may be canceled if MVP does not appeal FERC’s recommendation.

VOF has submitted a letter to FERC supporting the recommendation against the permanent access road. The letter also clarifies an error in the final EIS pertaining to another VOF easement property. Download the letter here.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and remain ready to take action if FERC’s position changes before the issuance of a final certificate of public need,” said VOF’s deputy director of stewardship, Martha Little.

Jason McGarvey is VOF’s communications and outreach manager. He is based in the Richmond office.