IN FOCUS: Assessing the likely impact of the proposed Mountain V - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

IN FOCUS: Assessing the likely impact of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline

Doe Creek Farm, Giles County, Va. Doe Creek Farm, Giles County, Va.

BLUEFIELD, WEST VIRGINIA -- Giles County apple farmer Georgia Haverty and environmental attorney Derek Teaney recently sat down with WVVA anchor Rick Douglas for an in-depth discussion of the impact of the 300-mile-long Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The project has been in the works for a couple of years.

Stakeholders, including parent company EQT, say it is a critical component of the region's burgeoning energy infrastructure because it will deliver much-needed natural gas from northern West Virginia to southern Virginia. 

Ahead of its expected construction, however, opponents say nothing like it has ever been proposed in West Virginia, a state criss-crossed by dozens of smaller pipelines. The MVP pipe is 42 inches in diameter, or about the size of a hula hoop.

Environmental groups say, even in the most optimistic scenarios, the company can't guarantee against damage to the fragile Karst topography of Monroe County, a honeycomb of limestone caves and fissures that filter water into the local aquifer. 

And the more immediate impact is the anticipated destruction of farmland and historic properties as MVP crews clear the land necessary to create a footprint for the actual pipe and, once laid, the continuing maintenance and oversight of it.

The project also has led to lawsuits over the rights of homeowners to keep MVP survey teams from entering their properties.

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