MVP Southgate drops eminent domain proceedings in North Carolina, at least for now
Developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline have dropped eminent domain proceedings for the Southgate extension into North Carolina.
A spokesperson for the natural gas pipeline says the company has been focused on completing the mainline from West Virginia to Pittsylvania County in Virginia.
The statement says the pause in North Carolina is appropriate as the timeline for the proposed Southgate extension is re-evaluated. Legal proceedings will continue for a small number of properties on the route in Virginia. MVP says about 80% of the Southgate route has already been cleared through voluntary easements.
Environmental groups say the project is unnecessary and will damage streams and waterways. Both the mainline and Southgate extension have faced numerous legal and regulatory challenges as the timeline has dragged on and construction costs have increased.
Read the complete statement from MVP Southgate spokesman Shawn Day:
Mountain Valley has been focused on completing the MVP mainline project, while at the same time evaluating the timing, scope and design of the Southgate project through ongoing discussions with current and prospective customers.
Since 2018, the MVP Southgate team has worked in good faith with landowners and communities along the proposed route, securing rights-of-way along the vast majority of the route in North Carolina and Virginia. On Jan. 15, 2021, Mountain Valley filed a complaint in federal court seeking to obtain rights-of-way through eminent domain on properties along the proposed route in North Carolina.
On Thursday, Mountain Valley moved to dismiss these pending condemnation proceedings in North Carolina. We believe this action is appropriate given the ongoing evaluation of the Southgate project timing, design and scope, and it is consistent with the team’s commitment to working collaboratively with landowners along the proposed route.
Mountain Valley remains committed to the MVP Southgate project, which is needed to help North Carolina achieve its lower-carbon energy goals and meet current and future residential and commercial demand for natural gas in the region.
Proceedings currently remain under way with respect to a small number of tracts in Virginia. Mountain Valley has successfully secured easements across more than 80 percent of the Southgate project’s proposed 75-mile route.