North Carolina environmental officials have denied a key permit that would allow a proposed natural gas pipeline to be built along the Triad's eastern border.
In a letter that was posted online by N.C. Policy Watch on Tuesday, the director of N.C. Division of Water Resources said the division has determined that the proposed MVP Southgate project "is inextricably linked to, and dependent upon, completion of the under-construction Mountain Valley Pipeline," which has several federal permits suspended or pending, with some in litigation.
"Approving construction activities and thereby allowing the most adverse environmental impacts — without certainty of the project’s utility upon completion — is inconsistent with principles of minimization," division director S. Daniel Smith wrote.
"In addition, the project would unnecessarily risk impacting high-quality waters and protected and critical drinking water supplies of North Carolinians," he said.
N.C. Division of Water Resources denied both a Water Quality Certification and Jordan Lake Riparian Buffer Authorization. MVP has 60 days to appeal the decision.
The $468 million Southgate project would be a 75-mile extension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The "mainline" project originates in West Virginia and then crosses Virginia on a 303.5-mile route, before its Southgate spur enters North Carolina near Eden.
The Southgate extension would follow a southeasterly course through the Dan River and Haw River basins to an endpoint near Graham.
Southgate developer Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC is a Delaware-based partnership led by five energy companies that include Con Edison Transmission, EQM Midstream Partners, NextEra Energy, RGC Midstream and WGL Midstream.
Much of its mainline project already has been built. But the remainder is blocked by lawsuits and regulatory actions that so far have prevented it from going through Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia, traversing certain areas where endangered species live and making a number of stream crossings.
Contact Jennifer Fernandez at 336-373-7064.