Mountain Valley Pipeline gets key approval but hit with petition challenging it

PITTSBURGH — The Mountain Valley Pipeline on Monday received a key approval from the U.S. Forest Service over its plans to cross the Jefferson National Forest, but activists fighting the 303-mile natural gas pipeline have filed a petition to stop it.

A record of decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture was issued Monday, which would allow MVP a right-of-way to cross the federally owned lands. It was the second time a record of decision had been made. The first, in December 2017, was vacated by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals less than a year later. MVP had begun a 1.8-mile stretch of the pipeline and had cleared some trees around it before having to stop work.

MVP spokeswoman Natalie Cox said the company was reviewing the decision and said it was only one step in the process; it will need review from the Bureau of Land Management and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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