An Appeals Court Has Rejected a Request to Hold a New Hearing for an Appalachian Trail Pipeline

  A federal appeals court denied a request to reconsider a ruling throwing out a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request from lead pipeline developer Dominion Energy and the U.S. Forest Service to hold a full-court rehearing.

In December, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit sharply criticized the Forest Service, saying the agency lacked authority to authorize the pipeline’s crossing of the trail.

The panel also said the agency “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources” when it approved the pipeline crossing the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests, and a right-of-way across the Appalachian Trial.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of the Sierra Club, Virginia Wilderness Committee and other environmental groups.

The 605-mile natural gas pipeline would originate in West Virginia and run through parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

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