February 26, 2019 Read More →

Court ruling puts another roadblock in front of troubled Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Associated Press:

A federal appeals court on Monday denied a request to reconsider a ruling throwing out a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request from lead pipeline developer Dominion Energy and the U.S. Forest Service to hold a full-court rehearing. In December, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit sharply criticized the Forest Service, saying the agency lacked authority to authorize the pipeline’s crossing of the trail.

The panel also said the agency “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources” when it approved the pipeline crossing the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests, and a right-of-way across the Appalachian Trial.

The 605-mile (974-kilometer) natural gas pipeline would originate in West Virginia and run through parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

In a joint statement, the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Sierra Club said the Fourth Circuit’s denial of a new hearing “sends the Atlantic Coast Pipeline back to the drawing board.” The groups said they believe it is impossible to build the pipeline “without causing massive landslides and threatening the Appalachian Trail and our clean water.”

More: New hearing rejected for pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail

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