Federal court strikes down Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit

Fish and Wildlife Service permit did not protect endangered species

The poorly-routed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would wreak havoc on protected lands, protected species, and some of the steepest mountains in Virginia. (© Steven Markos)

We’ve long argued against the necessity of the poorly-routed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which slices through environmentally sensitive and sacred areas on its way from West Virginia, through Virginia, and into North Carolina. Today’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to throw out an important pipeline permit because it failed to protect threatened and endangered species in the pipeline’s path is further evidence that the project has not been well-planned or properly analyzed.

“In its rush to help this pipeline company, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to protect species on the brink of extinction—its most important duty,” says Attorney Patrick Hunter. “This pipeline would blast through some of the last populations of these rare animals.”

Construction on the natural gas pipeline has been stopped since December 2018 when multiple permits were called into question or overturned, including those from the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Those permits are still outstanding.

“Dominion’s permitting problems are entirely self-inflicted—it chose a risky and unreasonable route and didn’t let the Fish and Wildlife Service do its job,” Hunter continues. “Dominion keeps trying to bend the law to its objectives by exerting political pressure on federal agencies instead of following the law like everyone else is required to do.” 

SELC is representing Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, and the Virginia Wilderness Committee in the case. 

Among the many 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 treasured Appalachian Trail.

Now, the project is several years behind, and more than $2 billion over its original $6 billion budget. If constructed, ratepayers will be expected to pay for the pipeline while the energy companies collect a 15 percent profit. For now, there is no clear path forward for Dominion to construct the pipeline on its current route.

Compelling evidence shows that the ACP is unnecessary for anything other than Dominion and Duke Energy profits.

For more information on this unnecessary pipeline and its devastating impacts: Check out StopTheACP.org for more.

More News

SELC’s pipeline team reflects on the path to victory

“We’re a billion-dollar company and we’re going to put the pipeline wherever we want to put it.” That’s what a Dominion Energy agent told a fath...

SELC opposes plan to destroy 200 acres of S.C. wetlands for development

The state’s environmental agency has granted a pair of certifications for a Charleston-area developer to fill more than 200 acres of wetlands in...

Dominion and Duke Energy abandon Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Updated July 6: When Dominion and Duke Energy announced the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in September 2014, the public knew right from the beginning...

Agreement allows Roxboro residents to breathe cleaner air

People in Roxboro, North Carolina will breathe cleaner air after a highly polluting power plant shuts down by March 2021 thanks to a recently fin...

Reminder of hope for endangered wild red wolves

The birth of seven red wolf pups at the North Carolina Zoo symbolizes hope for the world’s only wild red wolf population, teetering once again on...

Flooding of Blounts Creek with mine wastewater before N.C. Supreme Court

On behalf of Sound Rivers and the North Carolina Coastal Federation, today SELC filed a petition with the North Carolina Supreme Court arguing th...

More Stories