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Comments sought on compressor station for Mountain Valley Pipeline's extension

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The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comments on a compressor station at the start of a natural gas pipeline in Pittsylvania County.

Mountain Valley Pipeline is seeking a permit to build a 29,000-horsepower facility that would provide the compression needed to move natural gas at high pressure through the pipeline, an extension of its current project.

Called MVP Southgate, the 77-mile line would start at the main pipeline’s terminus near Chatham and transport gas south into North Carolina, ending in Alamance County near Burlington.

Written public comments will be taken through March 10. The Air Pollution Control Board will then decide whether to grant a permit for a facility that would include two gas-fueled combustion turbines, five microturbines and ancillary equipment.

In 2015, plans to build a compressor station in Roanoke or Montgomery county for the main pipeline were met by concerns from nearby residents and others about air pollution and noise.

Mountain Valley later scrapped those plans, deciding to build three of the stations in West Virginia, where the 303-mile pipeline begins and extends for about 200 miles before entering Giles County.

The pipeline extension’s compressor station, which Mountain Valley says would produce about one-fourth of the power of a jet engine, would be located on an 18-acre tract about two miles east of Chatham.

The site is near a larger compressor station for a separate pipeline that runs from the Gulf Coast to New York City.

Headquartered near Pittsburgh, Mountain Valley has dubbed the facility the Lambert Compressor Station after Jack Lambert, a former linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The other three compressor stations — Bradshaw, Harris and Stallworth — are also named after other star players for the team.

Information on how to submit comments to DEQ can be found at


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Laurence Hammack covers environmental issues, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and business and enterprise stories. He has been a reporter for The Roanoke Times for more than three decades.

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