Clean water advocates ask court, Corps to halt Atlantic Coast Pipeline

RICHMOND, VA – The coalition of clean water advocates that forced a halt of stream crossing construction activities for the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia today formally requested the same for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The coalition took two actions. First, it filed a petition for review with the Fourth Circuit. Second, it formally asked the United States Army Corps of Engineers to stay the stream construction permit during litigation. If the Corps refuses to stay the permit, the coalition will ask the Court to do so.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline stream crossing permit suffers from the same defects as the Mountain Valley Pipeline permit that the Fourth Circuit stayed last week. Specifically, Atlantic Coast’s planned crossing of the Greenbrier River–the longest remaining free-flowing river in the East–will take longer to complete than allowed by law.

The coalition includes the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the Sierra Club, and is represented by Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Director Kelly Martin: “We know we can’t trust the polluting corporations behind these fracked gas pipelines to build them without doing serious damage to our water and communities. Construction should be immediately halted on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, just like it was on the Mountain Valley Pipeline.”

Cindy Rank of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy: “The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy is concerned about the overall impacts of mucking about in streams whatever the activity – including by the gas industry. The value of the hundreds of miles of streams being crossed and disturbed by the ACP gas pipeline demand that more specific evaluation be given to each and every crossing than the general considerations provided by nationwide permits.”

Peter Anderson, Virginia Program Manager for Appalachian Voices: “Add this to the pile of evidence that a general permit is inappropriate for a project the size and scope of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Impacted communities along the pipeline’s proposed path deserve an immediate halt to construction activities while the court determines the legality of the developers’ application. Considering the magnitude of impacts to water resources, citizens demand not only a project-specific permit, but construction plans that can actually comply with the permit’s conditions as well.”

Anne Havemann, General Counsel for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network: “Dominion Energy, the main company behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, has cut corners and pushed regulators to approve its pipeline without proper reviews. With irreplaceable water resources at stake, we think it’s our patriotic duty this Fourth of July to ask the court to require a full review of the pipeline’s impacts.”

Angie Rosser, Executive Director for West Virginia Rivers Coalition: “Once again, our watchdogging reveals short-cuts that undermine West Virginians’ interests in water protections, and that those short-cuts come back to haunt these mega-pipelines. We’re confident the court will agree that this flawed permit cannot stand and that construction must be put on hold.”

Cat McCue, Appalachian Voices, 434-293-6373,
Doug Jackson, Sierra Club, 252-432-9716,