Agencies Rush Out New Permits for Atlantic Coast Pipeline
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have issued new permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, according to Atlantic’s filings with FERC today. The filings come just weeks after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the National Park Service permit to cross over the Blue Ridge Parkway, finding it did not meet legal requirements. The court had tossed the Fish and Wildlife permit in May, finding the agency did not meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act.
In response, SELC Senior Attorney D.J. Gerken issued the following statement: “Rather than taking the time to address the major problems we have seen in federal agencies’ reviews of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, these agencies continue to rush through a rubberstamp process that ignores legal requirements – not to mention the public interest.”
“We don’t even need these fracked gas pipelines in the first place,” said Kelly Martin, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign, adding “so not only should the stop work order remain in place, all construction should be permanently halted.”
Pressure from the utilities that stand to benefit from this project and the Trump administration produced flawed permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline the first time around, and the administration’s desire to push approvals through for pipeline developers appears unchanged.
We are evaluating the agencies’ decisions and considering next steps on behalf of clients to the original challenges, the Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, and Virginia Wilderness Committee.
For more than 30 years, the Southern Environmental Law Center has used the power of the law to champion the environment of the Southeast. With more than 80 attorneys and nine offices across the region, SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. SELC works on a full range of environmental issues to protect our natural resources and the health and well-being of all the people in our region. www.SouthernEnvironment.org