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Pipeline Gets All Remaining Permits

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted all remaining permits to the Mountain Valley Pipeline project in Virginia and West Virginia on Wednesday, allowing it to resume construction after a pause of more than a year, E&E News’ ENERGYWIRE (subscription) reports.

What’s going on: “In a unanimous order issued Wednesday, the commission said that all work on the 303-mile pipeline could proceed. … The commission also authorized FERC’s Office of Energy Projects to approve any future modifications to the Mountain Valley project as proposed by its sponsors—as long as the director of the office finds them ‘to be needed to complete construction.’”

  • FERC approval comes just days after the project received its final water-crossing permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • The debt-ceiling deal signed into law this month by President Biden contained provisions requiring approval for the MVP, which the agency first approved in 2017.

Why it’s important: “The pipeline has been described by [supporter and West Virginia Sen. Joe] Manchin and others in Congress as a poster child for … the nation’s inefficient energy permitting system.”

  • The MVP—the only natural-gas project under development in Appalachia—will help deliver clean, affordable energy from Appalachian shale reserves to customers in the eastern U.S.

A win for timely permitting: “In its order Wednesday, FERC also said it was setting aside its policy of generally considering requests for rehearing before allowing construction.”

What’s next: Developers plan to restart construction “shortly” and finish this year.

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