Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Supremes to Decide Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Supreme Court will hear Atlantic Coast Pipeline case
The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday that it plans to revisit a lower court’s ruling that, among others, forced Virginia’s largest electric utility to halt construction on a $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline in the southwest corner of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The project’s backer, Dominion Energy, petitioned the court to consider the case after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in late 2018 vacated a permit from the U.S. Forest Service. The permit would have allowed pipeline construction to cross the Appalachian Trail and 21 miles of national forest lands. It is one of seven federal permits related to the project vacated by the courts, resulting in a construction stoppage dating to late 2018.

The Fourth Circuit court ruled last December that the Forest Service did not have the authority to grant the pipeline right of way across the Appalachian Trail, a decision Dominion appealed to the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court’s acceptance of our petition is a very encouraging sign and provides a clear path forward to resolve this important issue,” Dominion spokesman Aaron Ruby said in a statement. “The law and the facts are on our side, and we’re supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders.”

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