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Topics: Energy

Supreme Court will hear Atlantic Coast Pipeline case

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The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday that it plans to revisit a lower court’s ruling that, among others, forced Virginia’s largest electric utility to halt construction on a $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline in the southwest corner of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The project’s backer, Dominion Energy, petitioned the court to consider the case after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in late 2018 vacated a permit from the U.S. Forest Service. The permit would have allowed pipeline construction to cross the Appalachian Trail and 21 miles of national forest lands. It is one of seven federal permits related to the project vacated by the courts, resulting in a construction stoppage dating to late 2018.

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About Energy

Energy production has had a profound influence on the Chesapeake and its tributaries since European settlement. Settlers built thousands of dams across streams and rivers to provide power for mills and industry. More modern dams create hydroelectric power, but dramatically affect river ecosystems and close them to fish migration.

Combustion of fossil fuels is a major source of pollution to the Chesapeake, and activities such as drilling in the Marcellus Shale can affect stream health and permanently alter terrestrial habitats.

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