Federal regulators request more information on pipeline coating

File image of Mountain Valley Pipeline construction
File image of Mountain Valley Pipeline construction(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 15, 2019 at 5:25 PM EDT
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The epoxy coating used to protect the Mountain Valley Pipeline is receiving fresh attention from federal regulators.

In a letter to the company this week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it wants to know more about the fusion-bonded epoxy coatings, including an evaluation of the product's toxicity to humans, and its impact on the environment.

Opponents of the Mountain Valley Pipeline have been raising concerns about sections of pipe that have been exposed to the elements for long periods of time, and coatings that degrade after exposure to the sun.

Tina Smusz is a pipeline opponent who says regulators should issue a stop-work order.

"There are far too many questions about the safety of this pipe coating for there to be any more pipes moved to the right-of-way or buried in our land," Smusz told WDBJ7.

Mountain Valley Pipeline says the epoxy coatings have been used since the 1960s and studied extensively. And MVP says it is unaware of any evidence supporting claims of risk to human health or the environment.

MVP must file a response with FERC within 20 days.