Good news for those of us opposed to Dominion’s absurd, environmentally and economically destructive Atlantic Coast Pipeline boondoggle, courtesy of the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (see decision here and embedded below). The bottom line findings: 1) “For the reasons more fully explained…we conclude that the Forest Service’s decisions violate the [National Forest Management Act – NFMA] and [National Environmental Policy Act – NEPA], and that the Forest Service lacked statutory authority pursuant to the [Mineral Leasing Act – MLA] to grant a pipeline right of way across the [Appalachian National Scenic Trail – ANST]”; 2) “Accordingly, we grant the petition for review of the Forest Service’s [Special Use Permit -SUP] and [Record of Decision – ROD], vacate those decisions, and remand to the Forest Service for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
Today the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a federal approval for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.
“The George Washington National Forest, Monongahela National Forest and the Appalachian Trail are national treasures. The Administration was far too eager to trade them away for a pipeline conceived to deliver profit to its developers, not gas to consumers. This pipeline is unnecessary and asking natural gas customers to pay developers to blast this boondoggle through our public lands only adding insult to injury,” said Southern Environmental Law Center Attorney Patrick Hunter.
We are reviewing the opinion from the Court and its implications for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project and a press release is forthcoming.