Federal Appeals Court orders to halt Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction

A map of the planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which has now been halted (WSET).

NELSON Co., Va. (WSET) -- The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Tuesday, saying the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project must be halted.

In the case, the Southern Environmental Law Center argued that the Fish and Wildlife Service, rushed through the approval of the pipeline amid political pressure without proper evaluation of the impact the pipeline would have on endangered species.

The three-judge panel agreed with the SELC stance, saying the Fish and Wildlife Service did not meet the minimum legal standards required to proceed with the project.

Dominion Energy, who is overseeing the project is confident in the approvals despite the decision.

"This decision only impacts activities directly covered by the Incidental Take Statement in certain defined areas along the route," Dominion Energy Director of Communications Jen Kostyniuk said. "We will fully comply as required while we continue to construct the project."

Kostyniuk said Dominion Energy disagreed with the court's decision, but are willing to work with other agencies to address the circuit court's concerns.

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