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Court Vacates Permit for Mountain Valley Pipeline

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated a permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, news outlets reported.

The Oct. 2 decision “dealt a major blow to the West Virginia pipeline project,” Politico reported.

Mountain Valley Pipeline, Pittsburgh, Pa., said it was “disappointed with the decision.” It said in a statement, “This decision affects stream and wetland crossings along approximately 160 miles of the route in West Virginia, and the MVP team is evaluating options to understand its ability to continue with construction activities that do not include stream and wetland crossings along this portion of the route.”

Attorneys from Appalachian Mountain Advocates argued the case on behalf of the Sierra Club, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network. The case was argued before a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., on Sept. 28, Sierra Club said.

“Because the MVP’s certificate from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) specifies that all necessary permits must be in place before the project can proceed anywhere, MVP must also halt work along its entire route,” the Sierra Club said in a statement issued Oct. 2.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said, “We applaud the Fourth Circuit’s decision to vacate the permit for the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline. Today’s decision shows polluting corporations trying to run roughshod through Appalachia will be held accountable. In their haste to make a quick buck, MVP rushed essential processes because they knew there was no way their dirty project would ever satisfy commonsense protections for water and health. Now, FERC must require MVP to immediately stop construction on the pipeline.”

The Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of communities, protect wildlife, and preserve wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.

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