The state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has once again denied a permit to the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) Southgate Project. This section of pipeline would extend the controversial MVP Pipeline from southern Virginia through North Carolina’s Rockingham and Alamance Counties to outside Burlington.
The MVP project as a whole continues to be tied up by strong legal and political opposition in the state of Virginia, so it is far from certain that the MVP would ever reach southern Virginia in the first place.
DEQ first rejected the Southgate extension for permitting in August 2020. However, the case was kicked back to the agency by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for further findings explaining its decision. On April 29, DEQ reaffirmed its denial of water quality certification (PDF) for the project, citing its impacts on streams and wetlands in North Carolina.
In response to the decision, Haw Riverkeeper Emily Sutton said, “DEQ has made the right decision to protect our waterways and our communities that depend on them. This proposed project has been a potential threat to public and environmental health throughout the Haw River watershed for three years, and we are so encouraged to see that the agency rightfully used their authority to reissue the denial of this permit.”
Southern Environmental Law Center attorney Jean Zhuang added, “North Carolina has sent a clear message to pipeline companies: it is not going to allow unnecessary and destructive gas pipelines to plow through our rivers, streams, and wetlands.”