October 17, 2019
The US Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal by energy companies and the Trump administration to to allow construction of a natural gas pipeline through two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.
The appeal by Dominion Energy Inc. and the administration asks for the overturning of an appeals court ruling and the reinstatement of a permit to resume construction the $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline to run underneath rural Virginia’s popular hiking trail, which was stopped by a ruling last December by the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Dominion leads a partnership of companies attempting to build the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would extend from West Virginia to North Carolina.
The okay for the pipeline through the George Washington National Forest under the hiking route in the eastern US from Georgia to Maine was given by the US Forest Service, but the appeals court ruled that the Forest Service did not have the authority to grant the pipeline right of way.
Environmental groups then stepped in to sue in order to stop the pipeline.
A Supreme Court ruling is not expected before next year.