Court tosses permit for pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail

Court Alerts

A permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail, was thrown out Thursday by a federal appeals court that harshly criticized regulators for approving the proposal.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond blasted the U.S. Forest Service for granting a special use permit to build the natural gas pipeline through parts of the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests, and granting a right of way across the Appalachian Trail.

"A thorough review of the record leads to the necessary conclusion that the Forest Service abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources," Judge Stephanie Thacker wrote for the panel in the unanimous ruling.

The court said the agency had "serious environmental concerns" about the project that were "suddenly, and mysteriously, assuaged in time to meet a private pipeline company's deadlines."

The ruling also quoted "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss, saying the Forest Service is trusted to "speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues."

Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for Dominion Energy, the project's lead developer, said the developers "strongly disagree" with the court's ruling and plan to immediately appeal by seeking a hearing before the full 4th Circuit court.

"If allowed to stand, this decision will severely harm consumers and do great damage to our economy and energy security," Ruby said in a statement. "Public utilities are depending on this infrastructure to meet the basic energy needs of millions of people and businesses in our region."

Related listings

  • European court orders Turkey to free ex-Kurdish party leader

    European court orders Turkey to free ex-Kurdish party leader

    Court Alerts 11/20/2018

    The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday called on Turkey to release the former head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition from detention. Turkey's president responded by claiming his country was not bound by the court's rulings.In its ruling on Tu...

  • Audit: West Virginia Supreme Court skirted pay law

    Audit: West Virginia Supreme Court skirted pay law

    Court Alerts 09/11/2018

    A new legislative audit report says West Virginia's Supreme Court skirted state law concerning pay for senior status judges. News outlets report the audit released last week found 10 senior-status judges were authorized overpayments. State law p...

  • Senator asks court to declare Duterte arrest order illegal

    Senator asks court to declare Duterte arrest order illegal

    Court Alerts 09/04/2018

    A Philippine senator who has taken refuge in the Senate to avoid an arrest order by President Rodrigo Duterte asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to declare the order illegal and called on the military to defy it.Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Duterte's ...

USCIS Continuing Form I-751 Data Entry

USCIS has completed receipting and data entry for all filings of Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, received between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018. Petitioners should receive receipt notices by Oct. 22, 2018.

On June 13, 2018, USCIS announced that the California Service Center (CSC) was experiencing a delay in initial data entry for Form I-751. After changing the filing location for Form I-751 from the USCIS Service Centers to the USCIS Lockbox facilities in September, USCIS completed receipting and data entry of these petitions on Oct. 1.

If you submitted a Form I-751 to the CSC between May 1 and Sept. 9, 2018, and you have not received a receipt notice, do not file a duplicate Form I-751 unless you have received a rejection notice or have been instructed to do so by the CSC.

If your two-year green card has expired and you have not received a receipt notice, you may schedule an appointment online for you and any eligible dependents to be seen at your local field office. If possible, bring evidence that you sent your Form I-751 via the U.S. Postal Service or a delivery service, such as FedEx. If you have any questions about the process, visit the USCIS Contact Center page.