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4th Circuit halts pipeline work in national forest land

Photo of the 'March to the Mansion' of protesters against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in 2016 :...
Photo of the 'March to the Mansion' of protesters against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in 2016 : Chesapeake Climate Action Network(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 25, 2018 at 4:05 PM EDT
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A federal appeals court has halted work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline through stretches of national forest land.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday granted a request from environmental groups to stay National Forest Service decisions allowing construction on about 21 miles of the 600-mile route.

Environmental groups requested the stay while a challenge to the forest service approvals is pending. The court is scheduled to hear arguments Friday.

About 21 miles of the 600-mile-long project are located on National Forest Service lands, including where it will cross the Appalachian Trail.

In November of 2017, the U.S. Forest Service

for the natural gas pipeline to run through the George Washington National Forest and Monongahela National Forest.

Pipeline spokesman Aaron Ruby says the forest service conducted a thorough review and the court's ruling won't have a "significant impact" on the construction schedule.

Attorney D.J. Gerken with the Southern Environmental Law Center says the stay means federal officials should halt work on the entirety of the pipeline. The center asked regulators for a stop-work order Tuesday.