Environmental groups sue over ‘rushed permits’ that allowed Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction to resume

Pastor Paul Wilson, of Union Hill and Union Grove Baptist churches in Buckingham County, was among the most outspoken opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which was proposing to build a compressor station in the county. ( 2018 file photo by Robert Zullo / Virginia Mercury).

The Southern Environmental Law Center filed the suit on behalf of the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Virginia Wilderness Committee.

Construction of the 600-mile pipeline ground to a halt the beginning of August when the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled permits issued by the National Park Service allowing the pipeline to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway were arbitrary and capricious.”

This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the Dominion Energy-led pipeline project permission to resume after the park service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service submitted revised permits.

In their court filing, the environmental groups argue the new permits are “nearly identical … with no changes to the project.”

“The agencies responsible for protections should be prioritizing a real review of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, not abandoning a critical process to help developers,” said Jason Rylander, senior attorney at Defenders of Wildlife, in a statement. “There is no justification for this unnecessary and dangerous project.”

Copies of the appeals are available here and here.