ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says it is closing parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia and West Virginia through which the Mountain Valley Pipeline will run.
The Roanoke Times reports the closure order “was enacted to protect public safety due to hazards associated with constructing the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” according to a Forest Service statement issued over the weekend.
The order prohibits anyone except authorized personnel from being within 200 feet of either side of the pipeline right of way in Monroe County, West Virginia, and Giles and Montgomery counties in Virginia. Also off-limits are access roads Mountain Valley will use during construction.
The forest service says the Appalachian Trail, which will be crossed by the approximately 300-mile natural gas pipeline, will stay open during construction.