Home Energy and Environment BREAKING: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Unanimously Vacates BLM, U.S. Forest...

BREAKING: 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Unanimously Vacates BLM, U.S. Forest Service Permits Allowing Mountain Valley Pipeline to Cut Through Jefferson National Forest

U.S. citizens "deserve more than silent acquiescence to a pipeline company’s justification for upending large swaths of national forestlands."

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Check out the following decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. As the Daily Progress puts it, “A unanimous ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond cancels permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management that would allow the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cut through federal land, in a small victory for environmental groups.” A key line is, “After careful review, we conclude that aspects of the Forest Service’s decision fail to comply with NEPA and the NFMA.” Also see the final two paragraphs (bolding added by me for emphasis):

MVP’s proposed project would be the largest pipeline of its kind to cross the Jefferson National Forest. American citizens understandably place their trust in the Forest Service to protect and preserve this country’s forests, and they deserve more than silent acquiescence to a pipeline company’s justification for upending large swaths of national forestlands. Citizens also trust in the Bureau of Land Management to prevent undue degradation to public lands by following the dictates of the MLA.

As a result, for the reasons set forth herein, we grant the petition for review of the Forest Service Rule of Decision and vacate that decision. We also grant the petition for review of the BLM’s Rule of Decision and vacate that decision. We remand to the respective agencies for proceedings consistent with this opinion.