Atlantic Coast Pipeline Faces Civil Rights Complaint After Key Permit Is Blocked

This article discusses recent how the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been temporarily stopped because of a court case about one of the permits issued. Opponents of the gas pipeline say state and federal agencies failed to assess the health impacts the project would have on minorities, as required under federal law.

federal court has invalidated a key permit for the Atlantic Coast pipeline project, a step that could give civil rights advocates more time to build their environmental justice case against the $6 billion project to carry natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina.

Opponents of the Atlantic Coast pipeline allege the Dominion Energy-led project would have a disproportionate impact on people of color living along its route.

A group of community and statewide advocacy groups in North Carolina, along with the national Friends of the Earth, filed a complaint with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s External Civil Rights Compliance Office on Tuesday asking the agency to overturn North Carolina state permits for the pipeline and for a new environmental justice analysis of it.

On the same day, a three-judge panel in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit for the pipeline, known as an “incidental take limit.” The judges ruled that that permit, designed to limit the number of threatened or endangered species that could be harmed or killed during the pipeline’s construction and operation, was too vague and could not be enforced.

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