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Environmental groups puts up legal ‘roadblock’ against Mountain Valley Pipeline

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new legal action filed by a coalition of environmental groups in the U.S. Court of Appeals takes issue with the way the Army Corps of Engineers issued a water crossing permit for a natural gas pipeline.

The petition is the latest in attempts to stop the building of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 300-mile-long pipeline that would run from Wetzel County to Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

The Army Corps is tasked with issuing a “dredge and fill” permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, but the petition says it’s wrong to have issued the permit because West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection waived its right to a water quality analysis last year.

Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, states have the authority to decide whether a project that needs a federal permit complies with state water quality standards, though they may waive that authority.

The legal action was filed in the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, by Appalachian Mountain Advocates on behalf of the Sierra Club, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices and Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

Officials need to readdress the impact the project might have on the state’s rivers and streams before proceeding with the project, said Angie Rosser, executive director for the West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

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