Federal court vacates key permit in W. Va. for Mountain Valley Pipeline

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated the Army Corps of Engineers’ verification that the Mountain Valley Pipeline project can be certified under a general permit, Nationwide Permit 12, instead of an individual permit for large portions of its route in West Virginia. The decision is a victory for pipeline opponents, including Appalachian Voices and community groups, who had objected when the pipeline developers’ construction plans showed that the project would be unable to comply with a West Virginia condition on the permit that construction through water bodies must be completed within 72 hours. Because Mountain Valley Pipeline is now lacking a permit which is a required condition of the overall project certification issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, construction across the entire route should stop.

Statement from Appalachian Voices Virginia Program Manager Peter Anderson:

“The court’s decision validates what citizens and pipeline opponents have been saying all along — the permitting process for the Mountain Valley Pipeline was fatally flawed, allowing pipeline developers to rush into construction without regard for the devastation to water resources in West Virginia and Virginia. We’ve seen this broken approach at every level, starting with FERC’s decision to certify a 300 mile, 42-inch diameter pipeline, despite the lack of evidence that the region even needs any new pipeline capacity. Today’s decision sends a clear signal that government agencies cannot subvert the process that is in place to protect the public simply to accommodate industry.”

See also a statement from Sierra Club here.

Cat McCue, Communications Director, cat@appvoices.org, 434-293-6373