The Fight Against a Pipeline Along the Appalachian Trail

  A lawsuit hasn’t been enough to stop construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a proposed 300-mile natural gas pipeline that would cross the Appalachian Trail and some of the region’s largest national forests on its way, from starting as soon as this month.

The Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, and Wild Virginia filed a lawsuit in January challenging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the pipeline. The case argues that the pipeline is unnecessary and its environmental reviews inadequate.

The Mountain Valley Pipeline would cut through 3.5 miles of the Jefferson National Forest, crossing waterways more than a thousand times and the Appalachian Trail once.

Construction would require clear-cutting a 125-foot-wide zone, then digging trenches and laying 42-inch diameter pipeline. Its route would climb steep slopes and limestone cliffs laced with cave systems. Its construction would bring noise and traffic, and increase sediment in streams near the headwaters for world class fisheries and amid world class hiking.

While some 58 pipelines already cross the AT, the MVP would run alongside it for almost 100 miles, and would be visible from some of the path’s most visited and photographed vistas, including Angels Rest, Kelly Knob, Rice Fields and Dragons Tooth.

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