Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) today withdrew its appeal of an agency decision rejecting a key permit for the proposed Lambert Compressor Station, a component of the company’s Southgate expansion project.
The Lambert Compressor Station, proposed for Chatham, Virginia, was planned to pump gas through an extension of the pipeline. Last December, the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board determined that MVP’s application for a minor new source review permit did not satisfy environmental justice and site suitability requirements in Virginia law. Soon after, MVP filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. CBF and partners have defended the recent Air Board decision, intervening in the Court of Appeals in support of the Board’s decision in MVP’s appeal.
Today, the company reversed course, notifying the Court it seeks to voluntarily dismiss that appeal. The withdrawal of the Lambert Compressor Station appeal is another setback for Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, which has suffered mounting delays, legal losses, and citations for hundreds of environmental violations for its mainline project.
The Air Board has only denied one permit in the last 20 years—the Lambert Compressor Station permit. The Board determined that the facility would impact an environmental justice community, that requirements in the Virginia Environmental Justice Act had not been met, and that the site is not suitable considering legal precedent and Virginia law.
This came after a landmark court decision in 2019 in which CBF and partners successfully argued in the Fourth Circuit that a similar pipeline compressor station proposed for Union Hill did not meet environmental justice standards.
Under new procedures expected to take effect July 1, Virginia’s Air Board will no longer approve or deny permits. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) would instead be tasked with permit approval.
CBF Environmental Justice Staff Attorney Taylor Lilley issued the following statement:
“Virginia does not need an ill-conceived project that ignores environmental justice concerns and harms communities. This is a victory for environmental justice and for the residents of Chatham. The Air Board found that MVP’s permit application failed to meet legal requirements for environmental justice on multiple fronts after a thorough evaluation of the facts. With this dismissal, that decision stands.”