Mountain Valley Pipe Gets FERC Approval to Begin WV Construction

MVP Map – click for larger version

Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA, has just received permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to begin tree clearing and construction of access roads and construction yards in five West Virginia counties–Wetzel, Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis and Braxton counties. The work will be allowed only where MVP has already obtained leases from landowners. This is the first actual construction to be authorized for the project, a milestone! MVP was approved last October (see FERC Approves Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipeline Projects). However, five national anti-fossil fuel groups filed a lawsuit two weeks ago to try and stop the project (see 5 Radical Green Groups Sue to Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline). Let ’em try! Here’s the great news that even as you read this, it’s quite likely the chainsaws are up and running…
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M3’s New Stonewall Gathering System Extends Existing AGS in WV

All the way back in 2011 MDN told you about M3 Midstream’s Appalachia Gathering System (AGS), a local gathering pipeline system to serve dry gas production areas in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania (see New Marcellus Shale Pipeline Coming to Southwestern PA, Northern WV). AGS was slated to be approximately 130 miles of large diameter gathering pipeline spanning Washington and Greene counties (in PA), and Monongalia, Marion and Harrison counties (in WV). Since that time we haven’t heard much–the project has flown mostly under the radar. It has, however, popped back up in the news in WV, so we thought it would be a good time to give you an update on the project…
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New Case of Earthquakes Related to an Injection Well in WV?

One of the gross inaccuracies MDN has tried to address over the past several years is the claim that “fracking causes earthquakes.” It does not. At least not measurable earthquakes people can feel at the surface. No less a source than the National Academies of Science released a study last year to “finally” put that particular myth to rest (see NRC Study: Fracking Does Not Cause Earthquakes). Unfortunately the earthquake myth is just too good a PR opportunity to pass up, so anti-drillers haul it back out about every three months for a new round of exposure.

The earthquake issue is confusing for many people because there is a loose connection between earthquakes and fracking: injection wells. Although most fracking wastewater is now recycled to be used again for more drilling, some of it is disposed of via deep injection wells. If an injection well happens to be located near a geologic fault, the pressure from the injected fluid has the potential to trigger an earthquake. It happened in Youngstown, OH in late 2011/early 2012 (see ODNR Finds Youngstown Injection Well Caused Earthquakes). According to a recent report from WV Public Broadcasting, it may now be happening again near a Chesapeake-owned injection well in Braxton County, WV…
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