Federal court strikes down Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit

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The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a key permit required to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Friday.

The court ruled that the permit for Dominion and Duke Energy’s Fish and Wildlife failed to protect endangered species in the pipeline’s path.

The Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of clients Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and the Virginia Wilderness Committee, filed the case against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“In its rush to help this pipeline company, the agency failed to protect species on the brink of extinction – its most important duty. This pipeline would blast through some of the last populations of these rare animals,” said Patrick Hunter, attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “There is no evidence that this pipeline is needed for anything other than Dominion and Duke Energy profits. For the sake of these rare species and its customers’ wallets, it’s time for these utilities to walk away from this badly planned boondoggle.”

Construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been stopped since December 2018 when multiple permits were called into question or overturned including permits from the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Those permits are all still outstanding. Among the problems for this pipeline is a federal court decision that the Forest Service erred in allowing the pipeline to carve through national forests and was not authorized to allow the project to cross the Appalachian Trail.


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