RICHMOND, VA (AP) – An appeals court has sided with environmental groups who challenged the decision by federal agencies to allow construction of a 300-mile natural gas pipeline that would cut through national forests.
The unanimous ruling Friday by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond cancels permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service allowing the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cut through federal land.
The judges accused the agencies of ignoring environmental regulations and acquiescing to justifications offered by the pipeline company on the project’s environmental impact.
Construction of the pipeline, which would run through Virginia and West Virginia, prompted protests earlier this year including people who climbing into trees on the pipeline’s path and chaining themselves to construction equipment.