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Attorney: Court order calls into question entire route of major pipeline running through WV and other states

By JOANN SNODERLY

NCWV Media

CLARKSBURG, W.Va.  — Developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have promised to immediately appeal a federal court decision issued Thursday that overturns a U.S. Forest Service permit allowing pipeline construction in two national forests and across the Appalachian Trail.

One pipeline opponent said the decision leaves pipeline developers with a route — starting in West Virginia and ending in North Carolina — that they can’t complete.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth District ruled that the U.S. Forest Service violated the National Forest Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act in authorizing pipeline construction in the George Washington and Monongahela national forests, and that the Forest Service lacked statutory authority for approving a right of way across the Appalachian Trail.

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