Equitrans Midstream and PHMSA Collaborate to Improve MVP Pipeline Safety

(P&GJ) — Equitrans Midstream, the operator of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), entered into a Consent Agreement on Oct. 3 with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). 

According to the terms set forth by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the project's team will execute scheduled inspections to confirm the pipeline's structural soundness and implement additional measures.

The gas pipeline project, with a budget of $6.6 billion, has faced a series of legal disputes ever since its construction commenced in 2018.

“The agreement outlines actions that are designed to reassure the public of MVP’s integrity and demonstrates our commitment to safe, responsible construction and in-service operations,” Diana Charletta, Equitrans’ president and COO, said.

In accordance with the terms of the Agreement, Equitrans and Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (Mountain Valley) agree with PHMSA that transparently outlining the steps being taken by the MVP project team to responsibly complete construction is of critical importance and will reinforce public confidence in the safe operation of the pipeline. The terms of the Consent Agreement are not expected to have a material impact on the total project cost or schedule.

Key Safety Highlights of the Consent Agreement Include:

  • Enhancing MVP’s existing coating, remediation, and inspection processes by:
    • Authorizing KTA-Tator, Inc. (KTA), a well-established engineering firm with expertise in the evaluation of protective coatings for numerous applications, to serve as the independent, third-party party pipeline coating expert
    • Accepting KTA’s endorsement of MVP’s pipeline coating procedures and authorizing MVP to continue implementing those procedures throughout the project’s remaining construction phase
    • Authorizing KTA to continue conducting a comprehensive field audit of MVP’s pipeline coating activities, including the deployment of multiple inspectors to observe ongoing coating assessment and remediation and the performance of adhesion testing at each spread
  • Accelerating MVP’s previously planned series of inline inspections to verify the integrity of the pipeline
  • Accelerating the regulatory timeline for conducting comprehensive cathodic protection surveys

In accordance with the project's comprehensive pipeline integrity program, previously approved by federal and state agencies, the MVP project team has been proactive in its approach to pipeline safety and integrity. Mountain Valley will continue to work closely with PHMSA and other regulators to maintain its high standards of safety and environmental stewardship as the project enters its final construction phase.

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