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Fri Dec 14, 2018, 06:50 AM

Federal court throws out permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline faces an escalating legal battle for its existence after a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday blocked a critical crossing of the Appalachian Trail through the Blue Ridge Mountains near Wintergreen Resort.

The Southern Environmental Law Center, based in Charlottesville, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revoke the projectís certificate of public convenience and necessity. The move came after the 4th Circuit vacated a permit that the U.S. Forest Service issued to allow construction of the pipeline beneath the Appalachian National Scenic Trail between Augusta and Nelson counties.

Without the permit, Dominion Energy and its partners would have to seek the explicit congressional approval they tried to avoid by rerouting the pipeline in 2015 to cross the trail and the adjacent Blue Ridge Parkway on land controlled by the Forest Service in the George Washington National Forest. Originally, it would have crossed the national trail and scenic parkway about 8 miles north near Afton.

ďThey have bet their whole project on that crossing point and now thatís off the table,Ē Buppert (SE Law Center Senior Attorney) said.

On the critical issue of crossing the Appalachian Trail, the panel concluded that the Forest Service does not have the power to administer the scenic trail, even though it manages portions of it passing through national forest lands. Rather, the trail is administered by the National Park Service, under the Department of Interior, which cannot permit natural gas pipelines across it under the Minerals Leasing Act.

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/federal-court-throws-out-permit-for-atlantic-coast-pipeline-to/article_9f94d373-6a35-5530-8141-1c885b05b096.html

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Reply Federal court throws out permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail (Original post)
underpants Dec 2018 OP
hueymahl Dec 2018 #1
Victor_c3 Dec 2018 #2
DeminPennswoods Dec 2018 #3
underpants Dec 2018 #5
Victor_c3 Dec 2018 #7
DeminPennswoods Dec 2018 #10
N_E_1 for Tennis Dec 2018 #4
Nitram Dec 2018 #6
underpants Dec 2018 #8
Nitram Dec 2018 #9

Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:15 AM

1. Really nice to see a win every now and then.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:16 AM

2. Ha!

The Appalachian trail goes from Georgia to Maine. If you canít cross it, itís a hell of a detour around it.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:26 AM

3. The Appalachian Trail actually crosses above the PA Turnpike

via covered foot bridge. I'd guess it's possible the pipeline could be routed near there.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:28 AM

5. From the Shenandoah Valley?

That's a long stretch.

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Response to underpants (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:42 AM

7. It's about 2,200 miles long

Iím thinking about hiking it this spring. Iím 38, retired, and I found a group that takes a bunch of broken veterans like myself on the trip. Iím still waiting to hear if they accepted me to their program. If not, I might just do it anyways...

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Response to underpants (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 03:14 PM

10. Undiubyedly a long detour, just

pointing out, there's at least 1 spot where the AT is above ground. The state had to cut through it to build the turnpike.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:28 AM

4. Good news...

Itís time to stop pouring money into pipeline projects for fossil fuel. Better use of the money would be changing the infrastructure to support renewables. We donít have long to change ours ways. Iíve had people point out the hardships that a more drastic and quicker switch to renewable energy would have on us. I counter the hardships of the pathway to extinction probably would be much worse.

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Response to underpants (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:32 AM

6. This is great news! Finally, a chink in Big Oil's armor.

Opposition to the pipeline has been strong, with different groups attacking the project from different angles. The two biggest objections have been that 1) the pipeline goes straight up and down extremely steep mountain slopes which cannot be stabilized once a 120-foot-wide swath of trees have been cut down, and 2) the pipeline crosses hundreds of streams with no requirement that erosion and sediment control plans be submitted for each one. But these arguments, while correct, can be dismissed by the Commonwealth in the case of utility projects. The soil and water conservation district I work for has submitted language for a change in the law governing large utility projects that cross more than one jurisdiction, but it would not be applicable in time to affect this project.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 08:53 AM

8. The part "near Afton" got me

Afton is Afton Mountain. A steep climb even in a car (Interstate 64) which is really treacherous in the snow and the fog - oh the fog. I've gone over it unable to see 3 stripes in front of me in the road.

1903 feet straight up



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Response to underpants (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 14, 2018, 09:01 AM

9. That's right. Afton is about a 20-minute drive from where we live outside Charlottesville.

The mountain would look beautiful with an enormous 120-toot-wide stripe of denuded land coming straight down its face.

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