Giving Tuesday Thank You!

The Greenbrier River Watershed is heading into a sleepy COLD Winter now, but our board members are busy rolling up our sleeves to plan another great year in 2024.

This past Giving Tuesday your donations will help us continue our work in keeping the watershed clean and beautiful for our children, fishermen, recreational use and wildlife!

We are collaborating on many water quality projects, clean ups, tire removals and others. Our board membership is growing and we have people from diverse careers and backgrounds who are donating their talent and knowledge to helping save this river as a legacy for the next generations to come.

There's still time for end of the year giving. Please click on this link and make a donation in the amount of your choice - we will absolutely put your money to work for the river that we all love. Thank you!


The Greenbrier River Watershed is continuing to take monthly water quality readings from Durbin down to Hinton. 

Team 5 on the lower Greenbrier River welcomed Dr. Matt Williams to join them while testing. Dr. Williams is the Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences with the the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and runs our test samples in their lab.

Photo: L - R John Farrell board member, Dr. Matt Williams, Chris Chanlett board member.

Mountain Valley Pipeline News

Mountain Valley Pipeline bores under the Greenbrier River

By Chris Chanlett. GRWA Board Member. December 5, 2023

After eight years of underestimations and false starts, the Mountain Valley Pipeline is boring under the Greenbrier River at Pence Springs. As of mid-November the drilling wormed about half way through the 800 foot diagonal tunnel under the water. It was progressing at about 60 feet per day with of scores of trucks of all sizes working the project from the floodplain. MVP began punching under the Gauley River in early November. 
First proposed in 2014, the MVP was projected to cost $3.5 billion to link gas fields in northern WV 303 miles to piedmont Virginia pipelines. Equitrans Midstream, major owner of the venture, recently raised the estimate another $600 million to $7.2 billion and imagined it would be operational in the spring of 2024. The company said the projection was caused by “challenging terrain and geology” as well as “settlements with contractors and litigation” and unanticipated safety and security measures. 
Among the most costly of the underestimations was the presumption that this 42 inch pipeline under 1500 pounds of pressure would be easy to permit and override hundreds of unhappy landowners with cash offers or eminent domain. While the pipeline sailed through northern WV, it ran into tenacious resistance in Summers and Monroe counties and Virginia to the east. It was particularly a mistake to try to cross Maury Johnson in Monroe County along with determined women like Judy Azulay and Nancy Bouldin from Indian Creek Watershed Association and Becky Crabtree.
Tree sitters perched in the right of way for long periods with plenty of ground support. Appalachian Mountain Advocates and other law firms frequently succeeded in legal challenges.
These activists fought on multiple grounds. First they doubted the competence of the builders to construct a safe pipeline given the terrain and geology. Having had pipes sitting in the weather for six years has not allayed their fears. Second they contended that private corporations should not be able to impose eminent domain on recalcitrant landowners. They argued that the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission could not establish its required “public necessity and convenience” to authorize seizure for a private profit right of way. Many also said the global warming which has been contributing to droughts, floods, fires made extraction and combustion of methane-exposing natural gas an unwise inconvenience. 
Nevertheless the fossil fuel industry and its elected representatives have overpowered the skeptics. If the river and surrounding communities are lucky, it will not flood during the extended drilling, installation, and stabilization. Especially lucky if the pipeline never fails. But the massive carbon footprint of the Mountain Valley Pipeline will be inescapable.
Photo: Excavator poised above Rt 3 at Pence Springs crossing of the highway and river. The pipeline makes a dog leg at the bollards and through an open trench to meet the tunnel under the Greebrier. C. Chanlett

U.S. Supreme Court denies request to slow work on Mountain Valley Pipeline

Laurence Hammack/ Roanoke Times/ December 6, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court turned down a request Tuesday to pause work on three sections of the Mountain Valley Pipeline while a lawsuit by landowners is pending.

In a brief order, Chief Justice John Roberts denied a petition for an emergency injunction made last week by three couples who are challenging the pipeline’s use of eminent domain to take their land.

Roberts, the designated justice to hear emergency appeals in a circuit that includes Virginia, did not explain his decision.

Although that is not unusual – and the chances of getting an injunction were slim – the property owners’ attorney said they are disappointed there was not closer scrutiny of what may the last legal attempt to slow work on the controversial natural gas pipeline.

“We’re talking about a for-profit land grab here – the forcible seizure of private land for private gain,” Mia Yugo of Roanoke wrote in an email Wednesday.

"They are literally taking property from one private party and handing it to another - to make money. Historicall, that is not the proper use of eminent domain," she said.

Article continues HERE

STOP MVP, a compilation album of 40 tracks, amplifies the voices of Appalachian artists standing against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. All proceeds from the album support the Appalachian Legal Defense Fund in their battle against environmental threats.

"The narrative that Mountain Valley and their PR person, Natalie Cox, have continued to sell to the public and sell to the investors, for seemingly years now, is that this project is 94 percent completed. This is a lie, and it doesn’t line up with their own reports to FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is the lead agency on the project." Joshua Vana, director of ARTivism Virginia which works to connect artists and activists fighting new fossil fuel infrastructure in Virginia and the broader region.

The Stop MVP Compilation Is Striking a Chord Against the Mountain Valley Pipeline

An interview with Daniel Bachman, Warren Parker and Joshua Vana

Interview by Nick Murray/ Jacobin/ December 03, 2023

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, if completed, will span 303 miles and measure forty-two inches in width. It’s designed to transport fracked gas from the vicinity of Clarksburg, West Virginia, traversing the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains, to southern Virginia. There, it is slated to connect to the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline, which extends from south of Corpus Christi, Texas, to the waters just off the coast of Jacob Riis Park in Queens, New York.

The potential consequences would be catastrophic. Environmental groups estimate that the pipeline would add over eighty-nine million metric tons of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere every year, the equivalent of twenty-four coal plants or nineteen million cars. It would cross one thousand bodies of water, often through remote and difficult terrain, heightening the risk of accidents and forest fires. Furthermore, gas transmitted through the pipeline would end up at several US military facilities, including the Pentagon and the Radford Ammunition Plant.

The Biden administration cleared many of the legal and regulatory hurdles the pipeline faced in order to win Senator Joe Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act. In June, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which raised the debt ceiling, aimed to prevent judicial review of federal permits issued for the project, seemingly ensuring its completion.

However, construction has once again lagged, with activists working tirelessly to thwart the pipeline’s realization.

Released on Friday, [December 01, 2023] a new compilation called STOP MVP brings together forty artists from Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina who stand in solidarity with that fight. Many of the artists have directly felt the impact, residing or working within miles of the pipeline’s blast zone. Dog Scream, a noise duo from Christiansburg, describe driving past the destruction as a “near-daily heartbreak.” All the record sales will go to the Appalachian Legal Defense Fund, an organization paying legal expenses for people arrested while protesting. These have been adding up. A month ago, a grandfather who locked himself to a drill was held in jail with bail set at $35,000.

Article continues HERE

Mountain Valley Pipeline Owner Explores Options Including Sale 

  • Pipeline operator has market capitalization of over $4 billion
  • Equitrans was spun out of natural gas firm EQT Corp. in 2018

By Kiel Porter and Matthew Monks/ Bloomberg/ December 1, 2023

Equitrans Midstream Corp. is in the early stages of exploring a potential sale, people familiar with the matter said, potentially adding to a flurry of pipeline deals in North America.

The operator of natural gas pipelines across the country, including the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline project, is working with an adviser as it weighs a range of strategic options, according to the people. Equitrans would likely attract interest from industry peers should it opt to launch a sales process in early 2024, the people said.

Article continues HERE

Contact your representatives, often!

Contact your local, state and federal representatives with your concerns.

WV Legislature HERE

VA Legislature HERE

Members of Congress HERE

Listen to the FERC Monthly Virtual Open Meeting

Summaries November Meeting HERE

December 19 @ 10:00 AM

Virtual Open Meeting

Commission meeting held in Commission Meeting Room (Room 2C) at FERC Headquarters, 888 First St. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20426

A  free live webcast is available for this meeting from 10:00 am - 11:00 am. All webcasts are archived for 3 months. Full info HERE         

Volunteer ~ Get involved with what matters to you!

Make your time count by volunteering with your favorite non-profit to do any number of things from helping with river cleanups, to monitoring rivers and creeks, to making phone calls or licking envelopes. You will make a difference.

Donate to a non - profit working to help save your backyard.

Share this newsletter on your social media account or in an email.

Follow these pages ~ Stay informed on the issues.

WV Rivers ~ WV Rivers is the statewide voice for water-based recreation and clean, drinkable, swim-able, and fishable rivers and streams-from the headwaters to wherever water flows in West Virginia. 

Appalachian Voices ~ The Appalachian Voice has covered environmental, outdoor and cultural news in the Appalachian mountains since 1996. We provide thorough and well-researched journalistic news coverage to fit a niche not often covered by standard news media.

New River Conservancy ~ Protecting the water, woodlands and wildlife of the New River Watershed.

Allegheny-Blue Ridge Alliance ~ Protecting the heritage, resources and economy of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge region.

WV Environmental Council ~ Facilitate communication and cooperation among citizens in promoting environmental protection in West Virginia, to assist in organizing grass roots groups, to facilitate interaction among established environmental organizations, and to correspond with all appropriate local, state, and federal agencies involved in the management of West Virginia's environment. 

Wild Virginia ~ Along with our partners, alliances, and citizens like you, we press on in the fight against fracked gas pipelines in our region. The Mountain Valley Pipeline poses a great risk to our forests and surrounding communities. We are also working to improve habitat connectivity for wildlife throughout Virginia and to ensure that all of our waterways are fully protected in accordance with the law.

Stop the Money Pipeline ~ If we can stop the flow of money, we can stop the flow of oil. In early 2020, thirty-two organizations came together to form the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition. We stand on the shoulders of years of movement work pressuring financial institutions to act on climate.