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LRH 2015-00592-GBR; LRP 2015-798; NAO 2015-0898

CELRH-RD-E
Published Sept. 30, 2021
Expiration date: 11/19/2021

NOTICE OF VIRTUAL PUBLIC HEARINGS

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that virtual public hearings will be conducted by the United States (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to solicit the views of interested persons regarding the permit application submitted by Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), LLC.  The Corps is reviewing the application under the authority of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. 

SUBJECT:  The applicant has requested a Department of the Army (DA) permit from the Huntington District, the Pittsburgh District and the Norfolk District for the permanent discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 1,179 linear feet of streams (0.2527 acre) and 0.485 acre of wetlands, the temporary discharge of dredged and/or fill material into 38,083 linear feet of streams (8.0757 acres) and 17.57 acres of wetlands, and work in five (5) navigable waters of the U.S. (the Elk, Gauley and Greenbrier Rivers in West Virginia and the Roanoke and Blackwater Rivers in Virginia) associated with construction of the project known as the MVP Project[1].  The proposed pipeline project would be approximately 304 miles in length and begin at the existing Equitrans, L.P. transmission system near the Mobley processing facility in Wetzel County, West Virginia and end at the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC’s (Transco) Zone 5 Compressor Station 165 in Transco Village, Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  The proposed project is contained within the states of West Virginia and Virginia.  The proposed project crosses three (3) Corps Regulatory District boundaries including Huntington and Pittsburgh Districts in West Virginia and Norfolk District in Virginia.  Details of the proposed project can be found at https://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/Article/2553962/lrh-2015-592-gbr/ Public Notice Nos. LRH-2015-00592-GBR, LRP-2015-798 and NAO-2015-0898 issued by the Corps on March 29, 2021 advertised the applicant’s proposal.  The public notice comment period was subsequently extended for an additional 30 days.  The public notice version of the DA permit application and appendices are available for public download at http://www.mountainvalleypipeline.info/news-info/ under the IP Applications tab.

PURPOSE:  The purpose of the public hearings is to acquire information which will be considered in evaluating the permit application and to afford the public an opportunity to present their views, opinions, and information on the proposed permit action.  Given the broad geographic scope of the proposed project and the extent of expressed public interest in the proposed project, it has been determined that two (2) public hearings, one (1) in West Virginia and one (1) in Virginia, will be held to better accommodate public participation.  The Corps will hold these public hearings in the evening hours in order to accommodate maximum participation.  Recognizing the health and safety concerns associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Health Protection Conditions that the limit occupancy of District office facilities in the permitting Districts, it has been determined that the public hearings will be held on the WebEx virtual platform. Participants may participate either by telephone and/or computer.  The public hearings will be held in accordance with the procedures in 33 CFR Part 327.  

The virtual public hearings will be held as follows:

West Virginia Hearing:

DATE:  November 1, 2021

TIME:    6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST

 

Virginia Hearing:

DATE:  November 4, 2021

TIME:  6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST

An alternate virtual public hearing will be held, if and only if either of two (2) public hearings listed above encounters unforeseen technical difficulties that result in the postponement of the West Virginia Public Hearing scheduled for November 1, 2021 or the Virginia Public Hearing scheduled for November 4, 2021.  The alternate hearing date will only be used in the event of technical difficulties or postponement of the scheduled public hearing dates.  For clarity, if the two (2) public hearings are held successfully at their scheduled dates and times, this alternate date will not be used.

Alternate Hearing Time:

DATE:  November 9, 2021

TIME:  6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST

PLEASE SEE THE ATTACHMENT FOR ATTENDANCE INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO EACH HEARING.

If you wish to provide oral comments on the proposed project you are strongly encouraged to RSVP with your intent to speak at the public hearing to CELRP-MVP@usace.army.mil with the statement “RSVP to Speak at West Virginia Public Hearing” or “RSVP to Speak at Virginia Public Hearing” as appropriate and include your full name, email address, and contact phone number with area code.  You may also request an advance copy of any visual presentation material by e-mail to CELRP-MVP@usace.army.milIf time allows, unscheduled speakers may be allowed to provide oral public comments by following the directions of the moderator.  For more information about attending a WebEx event, please visit https://help.webex.com/en-US/article/8l0y08/Join-a-Webinar-in-Webex-Events-(New)#Cisco_Generic_Topic.dita_fc78570c-5cf7-403a-a1a1-993a4fd36eb3.  

PLEASE NOTE:  IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO ATTEND BOTH PUBLIC HEARINGS.  ANY COMMENTS RECEIVED AS DESCRIBED WITHIN THIS PUBLIC NOTICE WILL BE INCLUDED WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD AND CONSIDERED DURING THE DECISION PROCESS.

AGENDA:  The public will be able to submit electronic statements through the webinar application beginning at 6 p.m. on the date of each scheduled hearing respectively.  The audio and visual portions of the hearing will also begin at 6 p.m. Attendees may join the conference 10 minutes prior to the scheduled meeting time.

  1. Introduction by Corps
  2. Overview of Regulatory Program
  3. Project Description
  4. Oral Public Comments

To submit a comment prior to the hearings, send an email to: CELRP-MVP@usace.army.mil with the subject line “MVP Public Hearing Comment” and include your full name and contact phone number with area code.  All comments received by email prior to the hearings or in the chat during each hearing will be incorporated into the administrative record.

All participant lines will be muted in order to maintain audio quality.  WebEx moderators will direct participants when it is their turn to speak.  In order to accommodate as many statements as possible, each person providing an oral statement will be allotted two (2) minutes.  In the event there is time to take additional oral statements, speakers who did not RSVP may request to speak by using the “raise hand” feature or otherwise follow instructions provided by the WebEx moderator.  In order to submit an electronic statement during the public hearing, participants may use the “chat” feature (Note: you must select “all participants” in order for your chat message to be captured).   

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT:  All interested parties, including officials from local governments, associations, or private citizens, are invited to participate.  All views expressed should be based on factual information related to the permit application.  Oral statements supporting or opposing the proposed project will be heard; however, for accuracy of the record, all important facts and arguments should be submitted in writing.  Written statements may be presented at the hearings or submitted to this office prior to the hearing date.  All electronically submitted statements during the virtual hearing will become part of the official record. 

IN AN EFFORT TO CONSERVE TIME TO RECEIVE ORAL COMMENTS AND ELIMINATE DUPLICATION OF FACTS PRESENTED, GROUPS WITH COMMON INTERESTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONSOLIDATE THEIR COMMENTS FOR PRESENTATION BY A REPRESENTATIVE SPOKESPERSON.

Any person shall be permitted to submit oral or written statements concerning the subject matter of the hearing, to call witnesses who may present oral or written statements, and to present recommendations as to an appropriate decision.  Any person may present written statements for the hearing record prior to the time the hearing record is closed to public submissions and may present proposed findings and recommendations.

CLOSE OF COMMENT PERIOD:  The Huntington District has been designated as the lead Corps District, thus all written comments should be submitted electronically by email at CELRP-MVP@usace.army.mil by midnight Eastern Standard Time on November 19, 2021.  If you are unable to submit comments via email, they may be sent by the United States Postal Service and postmarked on or no later than November 19, 2021 to the following address:

 

                                                United States Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District

ATTN: CELRH-RD-E

Public Notice: LRH-2015-00592-GBR

LRP-2015-798, NAO-2015-0898

502 Eighth Street

Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070.

Please note that names and addresses of those who submit comments, including oral comments, in response to this Public Notice become part of our administrative record, and, as such, may be available to the public under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Thank you for your interest in our nation's water resources.  If you have any questions concerning this Public Notice, please contact Mr. Adam Fannin at 304-399-5610 or by email at CELRP-MVP@usace.army.mil.

 


[1] The described discharges of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S. have been updated to reflect new information provided by the applicant, generally representing a decrease from the permanent discharges described in the March 29, 2021 Public Notice.  Additionally, we have modified the description of the proposed temporary discharges to include the wetland acreage that would be restored but permanently converted from shrub-scrub and forested wetlands to emergent wetlands.