ACP Faces Ongoing Public Opposition, Mounting Legal Setbacks
Richmond, VA – Last night, the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an order staying a permit that authorized the fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to blast through streams and rivers in the Allegheny Highlands of West Virginia. In response to a request from the Sierra Club, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the court suspended the pipeline’s water-crossing permit under the Clean Water Act pending further review.
Lawyers from Appalachian Mountain Advocates made the request on behalf of the groups after ACP threatened to start blasting through streams in Pocahontas and Randolph Counties, West Virginia as soon as today–near the popular skiing destination Snowshoe Mountain Resort. They argued that the water-crossing permit was unlawful because ACP intends to dam the Greenbrier River for approximately three days, which would impermissibly prevent fish migration.
This is yet another of many setbacks and delays for the controversial fracked gas pipeline.
“This is a temporary victory for our air, water, and communities, and yet another setback for an unnecessary, unpopular fracked gas pipeline that’s been plagued with local opposition and legal troubles from the start,” said Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Director Kelly Martin. “There is no right way to build dirty, dangerous fossil fuel projects like this, and we will continue to fight this pipeline until it’s stopped once and for all.”
“This small victory shows, yet again, that the hastily issued permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are as faulty as the pipeline itself,” said Anne Havemann, General Counsel for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “The permits are full of leaks, but with each temporary stay on construction, we come one step closer to closing the gap and keeping this dangerous pipeline out of Virginia.”
“Like a thousand individual knife cuts these stream crossings are contributing to the slow but inevitable demise of our precious headwater streams and larger rivers as well,” said Cindy Rank of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. “The newest plan to cross the Greenbrier River is of particular concern as it threatens a river known for its beauty and healthy stream life.”
“Thanks to citizen action, ACP and its regulators are not going to get away with skirting the rules,” said Angie Rosser, Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “The Greenbrier River is one of West Virginia’s prized resources and must be protected.”
Gabby Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org