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Appeals court vacates key Atlantic Coast Pipeline permit

Posted at 10:22 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 13:22:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has tossed a key federal permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that deals with impacts on threatened or endangered species.

A panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday vacated the permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The court wrote that the agency’s decisions had been fast-tracked and the agency “appears to have lost sight” of its mandate. Four species that would be affected by the 600-mile (965-kilometer) natural gas pipeline were at issue in the appeal.

A Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The decision is the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the pipeline, construction of which has been on hold since December.

Lead developer Dominion Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.