Thursday, November 12, 2020

Appeals court deals Mountain Valley Pipeline another blow

"The Mountain Valley Pipeline’s legal limbo continued Monday as a panel of federal judges granted a stay of construction of the pipeline across about 1,000 waterbodies in West Virginia and Virginia," Mike Tony reports for The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, W.Va. "The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay following oral arguments as it considered whether to grant a previous request by conservation groups for a longer stay barring construction of the pipeline across streams in West Virginia and Virginia. The court had granted a temporary administrative stay Oct. 16, and its Monday stay, via a brief order without explanation, will remain in effect until it decides whether to overturn water permitting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the project."

Pipeline developers recently pushed back the completion date and increased the price tag for the project, blaming legal and regulatory challenges from environmental groups, Tony reports. The pipeline was originally meant to launch in late 2018, but now that's been moved to late 2021. The estimated cost, meanwhile, has risen to at least $5.8 billion, over 50 percent higher than originally projected.

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