- Dominion Energy says it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal after a lower court declined to reconsider throwing out a permit allowing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.
- In a statement, lead pipeline developer Dominion said it expects the filing of an appeal in the next 90 days.
- On February 25, 2019, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request for a full-court rehearing from Dominion and the U.S. Forest Service.
A three-judge panel ruled in December that the Forest Service lacks the authority to authorize the trail crossing and had “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources.” The natural gas pipeline would originate in West Virginia and run through North Carolina and Virginia.
In the ruling, the judges note that in October 2016, the Forest Service told the pipeline builders to submit 10 possible routes to compare environmental impacts. Much of the pipeline’s route through the national forests was on steep slopes that posed unusual engineering challenges.
Dominion Energy is also pursuing legislative and administrative options and released a statement saying, they are “confident that the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture have the authority to resolve the Appalachian Trail crossing issue administratively in a manner that satisfies the Court’s stated objection and in a timeframe.”
Dominion Energy says it fully expects the completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline along the entire 600-mile route. The company is a 48% owner of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
To keep up on pipeline related news, check the Submar blog regularly, where we’ll keep you up to date.