A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals turned down an appeal of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC)’s December 2017 approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  The case had been brought by Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Sierra Club and others.  The Court noted that the petitioners had raised “sixteen different challenges to FERC’s environmental assessment of the Project and subsequent issuance of the certificate authorizing Mountain Valley Pipeline,” and rejected all of them.  Specifically, the Court stated:

  • FERC’s conclusion that there is a market need for the Project was reasonable and supported by substantial evidence, in the form of long-term precedent agreements for 100 percent of the Project’s capacity.
  • Contrary to petitioners’ argument, Mountain Valley’s exercise of eminent domain authority for purposes of this project poses no Takings Clause problems from either a “public use” or “just compensation” perspective.
  • Having carefully considered petitioners’ objections to FERC’s environmental impact analysis, we conclude that the agency adequately considered and disclosed erosion and sedimentation impacts on aquatic resources, impacts on groundwater in karst terrain, and impacts on Peters Mountain residents’ cultural attachment to the land, and appropriately evaluated reasonable alternatives to the Project.
DC Circuit Rejects Challenge to FERC Certificate for the MVP
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