October 18, 2016
The Cave Conservancy of the Virginias (CCV) is an organization dedicated to protecting and managing caves and karst resources in Virginia and West Virginia. We are also a landowner potentially impacted by the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. For both of these reasons, we are compelled to emphasize the importance of rigorous, site-specific evaluation of karst areas within the MVP project footprint before decisions regarding construction are made. This type of evaluation, including methods such as dye tracer studies, subsurface mapping, geophysical studies, and other on-site field investigations is critical to ensuring the safe construction and operation of the pipeline, as well as the protection of water resources and the ecological habitats of the area. A failure to adequately address the special and delicate nature of karst terrain, particularly in the vicinity of Canoe Cave and Slusser’s Chapel Cave, could result in permanent damage to the people and the environment of the affected areas.