WASHINGTON, DC — Work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline has come to a halt after a Friday order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The agency issued the stop work order a week after the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pulled a permit needed for construction in the National Forest.

The 300 miles pipeline is under construction to carry natural gas from Wetzel County, West Virginia to Pittsylvania County, Virginia. FERC ordered a halt to all work with the exception of what it considered measures necessary to land management and stabilization of the right of way and work areas.

A week ago, the federal judges vacated allowance from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to allow for the pipeline to pass through just over three miles of the Jefferson National Forest.

Developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline says the decision to halt work is disappointing, but add they are confident the two federal agencies will satisfy court requirements on the permits. However, those developers said there was no clear timeline on when that might happen.

Environmental and citizen groups hailed FERC’s Friday decision as a victory for the environment and landowners impacted by the pipeline right of way.

Reacting to the news of the work stoppage order, landowner Maury Johnson who has been fighting the pipeline offered this statement to MetroNews.

The Stop Work order issue by FERC for the Mountain Valley Pipeline is just one step in the right direction. It is one battle in creating a clean energy future that our children and grandchildren deserve. Unfortunately the Certificate should have never been issued to begin with as it was based on false information and illegal actions.  Hopefully the Appalachian Trail will not be impacted any further and the region can kill this project forever and start the long process of restoring the damage already done to our beautiful region and pristine waters.