UNION – A circuit court judge ruled that pipeline protesters can continue to live on platforms in trees along the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Monroe Circuit Judge Robert Irons made the decision March 20 after a 3-hour long hearing. Irons ruled that MVP had not provided enough evidence that protesters were in the way of the planned route of the more than 300-mile pipeline project.
The MVP developers claimed there are multiple protesters blocking an area where the developers need to fell trees by the end of the month to stay on scheduled. The developers claimed they are attempting to fell the trees during a time-window to lessen the impact on migratory bird and bat habitats.
However, the protesters have been in the trees in the area of Peter’s Mountain, which is near the West Virginia-Virginia border for the last month.
MVP filed for injunctive relief on March 2 and Irons granted a temporary restraining order on March 13, however, the protesters have remained in the trees.
The pipeline would extend 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline to transport West Virginia natural gas into southern Virginia. It will also go through Greenbrier, Monroe, Nicholas, Summers, Braxton, Harrison, Lewis, Webster and Wetzel counties.
Monroe Circuit Court case number: 18-C-2