Richmond, VA – Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision finding that Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) construction does jeopardize endangered and threatened species, countering the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s previous findings. This decision arrives a week after the Fourth Circuit ruled that the MVP cannot cross the Jefferson National Forest, thus reversing a decision made by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
This decision is the result of a case argued by Sierra Club on behalf of POWHR Coalition member groups Preserve Giles County and Preserve Bent Mountain, as well as other environmental organizations such as Appalachian Voices, Wild Virginia, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Indian Creek Watershed Association, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
In response, Russell Chisholm, Co-Chair of the Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights (POWHR) Coalition, said:
“Sacred life prevailed today with the court’s acknowledgement of the harmful impact MVP has on everything in its path, specifically endangered and threatened species. Holding MVP accountable to the law is key to the ultimate cancellation of this noxious fracked gas pipeline. This decision not only protects the candy darter and other endangered species, it sets us on course to stop MVP, decisively transition away from deadly fossil fuels, and reroute towards a renewable economy on a livable planet.”
Roberta Bondurant of Preserve Bent Mountain, a local member group of the POWHR Coalition, said:
“Today’s is a sweetly welcome decision in our fight to stop the ravage of MVP. The Bent Mountain community together with our allies, have fought relentlessly, and at unspeakable costs, to protect forest, meadow and waters of our venerable Appalachians. This is a banner day for Planet Earth—-the Swomee Swan soars, the Humming Fish jumps, and the Truffula Tree breathes a grateful sigh of relief.”