Home Energy and Environment BREAKING: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals STAYS Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction in...

BREAKING: Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals STAYS Atlantic Coast Pipeline Construction in National Forests


Good news for a change, courtesy of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which late today issued a STAY on Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction in the George Washington National Forest and the Monangahela National Forest. See below for the stay motion and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals order. A few key points in the stay motion include (bolding added by me for emphasis):

1) “An immediate stay is now necessary to prevent imminent and irreparable harm to Petitioners’ members from the Forest Service’s erroneous decisions”;

2) “The Forest Service authorizations contain multiple errors requiring vacatur, including one that is controlled by this Court’s decision vacating the right-of-way under a similar decision for MVP”;

3) “Petitioners’ members recreate on and reside near land that will be harmed by the ACP, and a stay will prevent irreparable injury to their environmental, aesthetic, and recreational interests pending completion of the Court’s review”;

4) “The combination of errors by the agency here resulted in a pipeline route that unnecessarily uses national forest lands, fails to comply with plan standards, and fails to analyze the environmental consequences of that decision“;

5) “Impacts from tree-felling and construction to forests, habitat, species, scenic views, streams, and the resulting loss of ecological benefits they provide, constitute injury to the public interest in protecting natural resources.”

P.S. Jon Sokolow, who is an attorney, notes that “a court generally does NOT issue a stay unless they first decide petitioners have made a strong showing that they are likely to succeed on the merits.”


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