he Biden administration has determined that restarting construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline won’t significantly jeopardize rare fish and other endangered species along its path, clearing a major hurdle that was keeping developers from finishing the project.
The biological opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, made public Wednesday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), was a necessary precursor to other federal agencies being able to issue permits to restart construction on unfinished portions of the 303-mile proposed pipeline.
The bulk of the unfinished portions of the pipeline either cross streams and rivers or go through the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia, and building in those areas requires federal permits.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service, which are required to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding how projects will impact endangered species, are expected to finalize those approvals as early as this spring.