RICHMOND, Va.— A federal appeals court rejected Thursday a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline that would have allowed the natural gas pipeline to cross a national forest in Virginia and part of the Appalachian Trail.

According to the Associated Press, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the U.S. Forest Service failed to act in a manner to preserve natural forest resources.

The 604-mile pipeline is planned to run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline spokesperson Aaron Ruby said an appeal is immediate.

“If allowed to stand, this decision will severely harm consumers and do great damage to our economy and energy security. Public utilities are depending on this infrastructure to meet the basic energy needs of millions of people and businesses in our region,” he said.

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