On Tuesday, November 20, the Army Corps of Engineers suspended an essential permit for the fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline, meaning its developers cannot do any work on stream or wetland crossings along its entire 600-mile route. Known as the Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12), the permit authorized developers to build gas pipeline projects through streams, rivers, and waterways.

Today’s suspensions followed requests filed by Appalachian Mountain Advocates on behalf of the Sierra Club, West Virginia Rivers Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Those requests were based on a November 7 federal court order that stayed ACP’s authorization in the Army Corps’ Huntington District. The suspensions continue a string of setbacks for the builders of fracked gas pipelines in the region.

As a result of suspensions of ACP’s authorizations under NWP 12 by the Army Corps’ Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Wilmington Districts, ACP no longer has the necessary approval to build its pipeline through the streams and wetlands in its path in West Virginia, Virginia, or North Carolina.

“This signals that when the public is watching, the Army Corps realizes it can’t buck its own rules,” said Angie Rosser of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “Now we’ll see if they agree to changing those rules to accommodate building this pipeline as fast as possible, instead of considering its cumulative impacts on our water.”

“If the polluting corporations behind the ACP ever thought this would be easy, they know better now,” said Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Director Kelly Martin. “There is no right way to build this dirty, dangerous pipeline and we won’t stop fighting it until construction is permanently halted.”

“For the some 1556 stream crossings in WV, VA and North Carolina these actions are a welcome pause/time-out for the valuable and vulnerable waters that bless our three states,” said Cindy Rank of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. “May this sensible approach continue as the Corps and our states look more closely at the impacts of this pipeline.”

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