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Federal circuit court issues stay on MVP permit

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal court issued a stay Thursday on a streamlined river crossing permit related to the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit put a hold on a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The permit included a provision stating crossings of the Elk, Gauley, Greenbrier and Meadow rivers had to be completed within 72 hours. The project’s developers said it would take between four and six weeks for work to be completed.

The 304-mile pipeline will deliver natural gas from Wetzel County to market in Virginia.

Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Director Kelly Martin said the related permit, “nationwide permit 12,” was not the best option.

“Today’s decision shows once again that the Nationwide Permit 12 cannot be used as a one size fits all approach for dirty and dangerous pipelines that pose serious threats to our communities and clean water,” she said. “Construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline must be halted immediately as the case to protect our water and communities proceeds.”

West Virginia Rivers Coalition Executive Director Angie Rosser said the stay brings a “sense of relief.”

“What we’re seeing is that short-cuts and easy-outs just won’t work for this massive project. Already with MVP, we’re seeing its early construction causing problems for our waters,” she said. “It’s encouraging that the court agrees a more intensive review of this permit is required before risking any further damage.”

Gov. Jim Justice issued a statement Thursday night, saying his office will continue to monitor related proceedings.

“This project represents thousands of jobs and millions of dollars being spent to benefit this state, not to mention the long-term stability and boost the energy economy of this country will see as a result of this project’s completion,” he said.

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