Court Backs WVDEP Move to Cancel Permits for Mountain Valley Pipe

In March, the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) issued a federal water crossing permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP)–a $3.5 billion, 301-mile pipeline that will run from Wetzel County, WV to the Transco Pipeline in Pittsylvania County, VA (see WV DEP Grants Mountain Valley Pipeline Water Crossing Permit). In June, a group of profoundly radical “environmental” organizations (Sierra Club, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices and Chesapeake Climate Action Network) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit against the WVDEP for doing their job issuing the permit (see Radicals File Lawsuit Against WV DEP for Approving MV Pipeline). Because of the pressure of that lawsuit, the WVDEP caved and reversed their decision in September, rescinding (called “vacating”) the permit for MVP (see Trouble for Mountain Valley Pipe: WV DEP Withdraws Water Permit). The WVDEP said they will “re-evaluate the complete application to determine whether the state’s certification is in compliance with Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.” On Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld WVDEP’s decision and granted the agency’s motion to invalidate the previous certificate they granted the project. Which means the process begins all over again–a temporary victory for antis. It’s temporary because while all of this nonsense was going on, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project–so it will get built…

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