Federal officials have halted construction on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast pipeline, days after a federal appeals court threw out two key permits.
A three-judge panel of the Circuit Court concluded that a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit was “arbitrary and capricious” regarding its effect on five threatened or endangered species. They also vacated a permit allowing the pipeline to tunnel under Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Southern Environmental Law Center has urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reconsider approval for the pipeline. Builders have said the issues can be readily addressed.
“We are already working with the key agencies to resolve the issues in FERC’s order so we can resume construction as soon as possible,” said Aaron Ruby of Dominion, spokesman for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. “Delaying this infrastructure will force consumers and businesses to pay higher energy costs.”