Virginia state senator asks Virginian governor to halt MVP

In a published letter, Virginia State Senator John Edwards, a Democrat, has asked Virginia's governor, Ralph Northam, to halt the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline in his state.

Edwards, who represents Virginia's 21st Senate District which is made up of the City of Roanoke, part of Roanoke County, part of Montgomery County including Blacksburg and all of Giles County, cites environmental concerns in the letter and harkens back to a May meeting that he had with Northam along with a group of experts.

Edwards states in his letter that numerous scientist believes that erosion control efforts along the pipeline will be in vain in areas where the pipeline will have to go over steep terrain.

The state senator also mentions the fact that the pipeline will have to go over a large Karst formation that is prone to caves, sinkholes and landslides.

"It is not an overstatement to say that science dictates that this pipeline cannot be safely built in this area," Edwards said in the letter.

Speaking on his largest constituency, the City of Roanoke, Edwards said that the city will have to spend $105 million over the next 20 years for erosion protections and expects that the completion of MVP will add another $36 million to the cost.

"I hope that you will advise your appointed Department of Environmental Quality and Water Quality Control Board to halt construction of the MVP before it is too late in the interest of protecting health, safety and environment of the Commonwealth of Virginia," Edwards tells the Virginia governor in the letter.

Those proposed to terminate in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, the majority of the over 300-mile long MVP runs through West Virginia beginning in Wetzel County before traveling through Harrison, Doddridge, Lewis, Braxton, Webster, Nicholas, Fayette, Greenbrier, Summers and Monroe counties.

Crossing Peters Mountain from Monroe County, the pipeline enters Edwards' district in Giles County before moving through Montgomery, Roanoke, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties.

The pipeline has faced protest and legal challenges in both states, with construction across major waterways in southern West Virginia halted and multiple erosion citations occurring in both states.

Email: mcombs@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @mattcombsRH

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