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Valley residents gather to protest Atlantic Coast Pipeline

People gathered in front of the Augusta County Courthouse Monday to protest the pipeline. |...
People gathered in front of the Augusta County Courthouse Monday to protest the pipeline. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Feb. 24, 2020 at 7:53 PM EST
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As U.S. Supreme Court justices were hearing arguments regarding an aspect of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, some valley residents gathered to protest.

Members of Reclaim Augusta came together on Monday night to show their opposition of the pipeline. Jennifer Lewis, a member of the group, said the pipeline has been an issue for a while.

"When we talk about this pipeline issue, it's been an issue that's been impacting this community for six years now," Lewis said.

Lewis added Reclaim Augusta wanted people to know there's still time to stop the pipeline.

"This project is not a done deal. All the permits have not been passed. This is not a done deal," Lewis said. "We still have a way to stop this, and believe that 2020 is the year that the pipeline will die for good."

On Monday, the

heard arguments about a specific portion of the pipeline — whether or not the pipeline can cross the Appalachian Trail.

"The issue in front of the Supreme Court is really a narrow and very specific legal issue," Greg Buppert, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center said. "Which is does the U.S. Forest Service have legal authority to allow the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail."

Opponents of the pipeline have argued the U.S. Forest Service does not have the authority to allow the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail. They argue it's part of the National Park System and something only Congress can authorize. Lower courts ruled the Forest Service doesn't have the authority, but Dominion Energy said they hope the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the ruling.

"We definitely hope the Supreme Court will overturn the lower court's ruling which has upended decades of precedent," Ann Nallo, a spokesperson for Dominion Energy, said.

Buppert, who helped argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, said they expect a decision later this year.