The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program filed on January 15 a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in response to the briefs filed in December by the U.S. Forest Service and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC in their challenge to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Cowpasture River Preservation Association v. U.S. Forest Service that vacated the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s permit from the Forest Service, which included the right to cross the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
The SELC/Sierra brief urges the Supreme Court to uphold the Fourth Circuit decision on the grounds that: 1) the Forest Service lacks authority to grant a pipeline right-of-way because the Appalachian Trail is land in the National Park System; and 2) the petitioners cannot separate the “Trail” from the Federal “lands” dedicated to the Trail. The latter argument was set forth in the briefs filed by the Forest Service and ACP, LLC. Click here for the ABRA Update article discussing the earlier brief and here for an article discussing the amicus briefs filed in support of the appeal.
SELC represents the Cowpasture River Preservation Association, Highlanders for Responsible Development, Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Shenandoah Valley Network and Virginia Wilderness Committee. Sierra is representing itself and Wild Virginia.
A copy of the January 15 SELC/Sierra brief is filed is available here. Amicus briefs in support of the respondents’ brief are due to be filed by January 22. The case is scheduled to be argued before the Supreme Court on February 24.