Construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, should it continue, is not likely to jeopardize the plant and animal wildlife, a long-awaited federal authorization has concluded.
After a legal challenge was filed by Wild Virginia and six other environmental groups last August, a federal appeals court stayed the original opinion. Following a nearly year-long reconsideration, the Fish and Wildlife Service released a 226-page opinion that found the massive project would not jeopardize protected species.
Friday’s release of the biological opinion “exceeds regulatory requirements, protects natural resources and habitats, and provides a path forward for completion of this important infrastructure projects,” a company spokeswoman wrote in an email.
However, new legal challenges are likely for any authorizations given to the controversial 303-mile pipeline, which will transport natural gas at high pressure from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern parts of the country.