Mountain Valley Pipeline filed supplemental information April 5 that included guidance from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s West Virginia Field Office on developing and implementing an Indiana Bat Conservation Plan (IBCP).
The document states its purpose is to prevent the unlawful “take” of the federally-endangered Indian bat, as defined in the Endangered Species Act Section 9. Additionally, the document clarifies that it is to act as “guidance” rather than policy, stating, “a project proponent or applicant has the option of not following the guidance’s recommendations when providing information to the Service, however, this will likely increase review times or result in projects that will adversely affect Indiana bats, and therefore require formal consultation.”
Concerning the location of said bats, the document states, “potential Indiana bat habitat includes all suitable foraging and roosting habitats and travel corridors where surveys have not been conducted to determine if bats are present, but presence is being assumed.”
The 23-page submission regarding the IBCP included the following appendices:
- Indiana Bat — Background and Overview (marked Appendix A)
- Recommendations for Avoidance and Minimization Measures (marked Appendix B)
- Preferred Tree Species of the Indiana Bat (marked Appendix C)
- Potential Roost Tree Information Table, to be completed and submitted with IBCP (marked Appendix D)
- Table for ALL past/future projects completed/proposed by the project proponent in the last five years, to be completed and submitted with IBCP (marked Appendix E)
- Useful Terminology (marked Appendix F)
- Regional Project Priority Guidance for Reviewing ESA Section 7 and Section 10 Actions (marked Appendix G)
In addition to the guidance from USFS’s West Virginia Field Office, MVP included a map of construction spreads along the entire 303-mile proposed route, including reference points for mileposts, compressor stations, and interconnects with existing pipelines.
Included in the filing but marked as “privileged” was a letter to West Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Officer regarding a Phase I Cultural Resource Survey.