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Environmental groups file lawsuit challenging Mountain Valley Pipeline permits

By Kate Mishkin, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A coalition of environmental groups are challenging a U.S. Fish and Wildlife permit issued to the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

It’s one of several lawsuits filed in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals over permits issued to natural gas pipelines.

In this case filed Monday, the groups challenged the 300-mile-long pipeline’s Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement — permits that address the effects a project, like a natural gas pipeline, can have on endangered and threatened species.

“The Trump administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fast-tracked this project and failed to properly evaluate its impact on imperiled species,” said Jason Rylander, senior endangered species counsel for Defenders of Wildlife, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit. …

The lawsuit, filed in the Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, asks for review of those permits. The U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, is the respondent. Mountain Valley Pipeline isn’t a party in the case. Neither the Department of Interior nor Mountain Valley Pipeline responded to requests for comment Tuesday.

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