The U.S. Forest Service has given final approval for construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline along a stretch of land that runs through Giles and Montgomery Counties – in addition to Monroe County in West Virginia.
The decision impacts 3.5 miles of land within the Jefferson National Forest. It requires developers to minimize environmental impacts during construction.
And while the Forest Service has given its approval, MVP will not be allowed to begin construction until all other state and federal permits are in place.
You can find the Forest Service's entire decision here.
The move has quickly been met by a lawsuit from environmental groups. In a statement, they say the Forest Service decision was rushed through behind undue political pressure from the lame duck Trump administration.
The USDA ruling requires the U.S. Forest Service to “minimize environmental impacts to the national forest” when and if it resumes work on the pipeline. But opponents say that’s not possible and that the stalled project is being rushed through.
“It’s basically two bands of the national forest that constitutes some of our most beautiful and valuable areas in Virginia," says David Sligh with Wild Virginia. Wild Virginia is part of a group of organizations asking the Federal Court of Appeals to strike down the Forest Service's decision to resume pipeline construction. “The forest service has a pretty sacred trust. They're there to look out for our land, for the resources that belong to all of us. “