Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above.

Mountain Valley Pipeline, Virginia, USA


The Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) is a 303-mile (488 km) natural gas pipeline under construction through West Virginia and Virginia in the United States [4]. There is also a proposed 75 mile extension of the pipeline from Virginia into North Carolina called MVP Southgate. Construction on the pipeline began in 2018. The pipeline is owned by NextEra Energy, EQM Midstream, CON Edison Transmission, WGL Midstream and RGC Midstream [4]. EQM Midstream is the majority owner and pipeline operator.

Citizen groups and environmental organizations have opposed the pipeline for various reasons including damage to the environment during construction; pollution and noise from compressor stations that pressurize gas in the pipeline; the threat of leaks or explosions during pipeline operation; appropriation of private land along the pipeline route through eminent domain; objections to fracking for natural gas in the Utica and Marcellus shale formations where the gas originates; and the project’s contribution to climate change.  In 2020, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was cancelled due to lawsuits and opposition from some environmental justice organizations that now oppose the MVP.

Two compressor stations under construction for the Southgate extension are opposed by communities and environmental groups in North Carolina [3]. There have been several explosions at natural gas compressor stations in the United States, and the MVP would operate at the extremely high pressure of 1,480 PSI [11]. Construction delays have resulted in pipe sections becoming corroded by weather, increasing safety concerns [11]. Several environmental justice concerns were raised in communities that would be exposed to air pollution from the compressor station, and in December 2021, Virginia state regulators denied a permit for one of the stations citing the state’s Environmental Justice Act [3]. In October 2022, construction delays on the main line of the MVP caused developers to temporarily drop legal proceedings that were part of their attempt to seize private land for the Southgate Extension through eminent domain [2].

The pipeline has also been opposed through direct action. Appalachians Against Pipelines (AAP) coordinated dozens of actions where people chained themselves to construction equipment, blocked access to construction sites, and occupied tree-sits to prevent construction. In one notable example, forest defenders occupied trees for 932 days from late 2018 to early 2021 [12][17]. In 2021, MVP subpoenaed FaceBook in an attempt to identify the administrators of an account belonging to AAP which had 19,000 followers at the time [16]. 

Sixty-seven percent of the pipeline route is built on steep terrain that is susceptible to landslides [4], posing threats to the environment during construction and presenting risks of leaks and explosions during operation [1]. The pipeline also crosses 1,108 bodies of water. Developers have been cited and fined for water quality violations several times in both Virginia and West Virginia during construction in 2018 [5][6]. The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals halted construction in 2018 for failure to complete water crossings in compliance with federal permits [7].

In 2022, pipeline developers were targeting mid-2023 for project completion. Lawsuits, direct action, and regulatory issues have added years to the project and doubled the estimated costs. Cost projections in 2022 amounted to $6.6 billion [8]. Developers say that the pipeline is about 90% complete.

In September 2022, W. VA Senator Joe Manchin made a deal with the Biden administration and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in which he agreed to support the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act in exchange for federal permitting reform that would streamline large energy infrastructure projects and “require the relevant agencies to take all necessary actions to permit the construction and operation of the Mountain Valley Pipeline” [9][10]. Manchin’s proposed legislation (The Energy Independence and Security Act) was withdrawn later in 2022, as it seemed unlikely to pass at that time [11]. Manchin received $338,000 in campaign donations from oil and gas companies during the 2021-2022 election season. Schumer received $283,000 from MVP investor NextEra [11]. Environmental justice organizations protested the side deal in DC on September 8, 2022 [13][14]. Members of tribes including the Monacan, Cheyenne River Sioux, Occaneechi-Saponi and Rosebud Sioux have opposed the pipeline [18]. The project's implications for federal law have also drawn participation from individuals belonging to other Indigenous nations who have concerns that Manchin's legislation would weaken laws that they have used to protect their lands [13][14].

In November 2022, RGC Midstream and NextEra Energy took $15 million and $800 million impairment charges respectively on their investments in the pipeline. The MVP joint venture took $583 million in impairments. A statement from NextEra said the pipeline would not likely be completed [15].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Mountain Valley Pipeline, Virginia, USA
Country:United States of America
State or province:Virginia
Location of conflict:Pittsylvania
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Natural Gas

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The Mountain Valley Pipeline runs 303 miles from West Virginia into Southern Virginia. Additionally, the MVP Southgate Extension would run 75 miles south from Virginia into North Carolina. The pipeline capacity would be 2 million dekatherms/day. The pipeline requires a 50' wide permanent easement, and during construction, the required width is 125 feet.

Project area:241,520
Level of Investment for the conflictive project6,600,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:60,000
Start of the conflict:2019
Company names or state enterprises:NextEra Energy from United States of America
EQM Midstream
CON Edison Transmission
WGL Midstream
RGC Midstream
Relevant government actors:EPA, FERC, Virginia Air Pollution Control Board, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals, Regulatory boards in West VA and North Carolina.
International and Finance InstitutionsWells Fargo (WFC) from United States of America
PNC Bank from United States of America
SunTrust from United States of America
Bank of the West from United States of America
US Bank National Association from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Sierra Club:
Appalachian Voices:
Appalachians against Pipelines:
Wild Virginia
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Appalachian Mountain Advocates
Pittsylvania County NAACP
Over 650 groups signed a letter opposing the pipeline, including
Climate Justice Alliance, Green New Deal Network, People vs Fossil Fuels Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, Indigenous Environmental Network, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Oil Change International, Oxfam America, Sunrise Movement, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, along with progressive political organizations Center for Popular Democracy, Indivisible, MoveOn, NAACP, Our Revolution, People's Action, and Public Citizen.

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Monacan, Cheyenne River Sioux, Occaneechi-Saponi and Rosebud Sioux
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Oil spills, Global warming, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Violations of human rights, Displacement


Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Proposal and development of alternatives:Stop construction
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although resistance has greatly delayed the project, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has prioritized completion of the pipeline, In 2022, with support of Democratic leadership, he introduced new federal legislation to require completion of the project.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[4] FERC Final Environmental Impact Statement

[1] Educating 4 Democracy

[2] WVTF Virginia Public Radio “MVP Southgate drops eminent domain proceedings in North Carolina, at least for now”

[3] WVTF Virginia Public Radio “State regulators deny necessary permit for MVP Southgate compressor station in Pittsylvania County”

[5] WHSV news: "2 more violation notices issued to Mountain Valley Pipeline". 6/19/2018

[6] WHSV news: "Virginia DEQ issues violation for Mountain Valley Pipeline" 7/10/2018

[7] WV public news

[8] Bloomberg: Key U.S. Natural Gas Pipeline Delayed as Costs Grow to $6.6 Billion

[9]NPR: "West Virginians divided over natural gas pipeline despite Manchin's support"

[10] New York Times: Manchin Won a Pledge From Democrats to Finish a Contested Pipeline

[11] Inside Climate News: "Pressing Safety Concerns, Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline Gear Up for the Next Round of Battle"

[12] Roanoke Times: Pipeline opponents sentenced to spend day in jail for each day in tree-sit protest

[13] Washington Post: "Appalachian, Indigenous pipeline foes protest climate deal"

[14] Washington Post: "Appalachian, Indigenous pipeline foes say climate deal ‘left us to burn’"

[15] MVP investor takes $15M impairment on pipeline

[16] Associated Press: "Mountain Valley seeks to unmask critical Facebook group" 9/6/2021

[17] Blue Ridge Outdoors: "214 Days: Tree sitters have blockaded the Mountain Valley Pipeline for seven months. Here’s what motivates them to persist." 4/16/19

[18] Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon. (Study by Indigenous Environmental Network and Oil Change International)

Meta information

Contributor:John Sandberg, [email protected]; Lowery Parker, [email protected]
Last update16/01/2023
Conflict ID:5714




Forest defender occupying a tree sit on the path of the MVP. Source: (Appalachians against pipelines)

Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline under construction in 2018. (Source: