ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A proposed extension of the Mountain Valley Pipeline from Virginia into North Carolina has gained new life in an ongoing court battle.
The Roanoke Times reported Thursday that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a decision by North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality.
The appeals court ruled that the state agency did not properly explain the reasons why it had denied a water quality certification for that portion of the natural gas pipeline.
The portion is called MVP Southgate. And it would start at the main pipeline’s terminus in Virginia’s Pittsylvania County and run for 75 miles into North Carolina.
The federal appeals court ordered North Carolina regulators to address why certification was denied outright instead of giving it conditional approval. The court also asked the regulators to address inconsistent statements about the project’s impact on bodies of water.
The main portion of the pipeline would run for 300 miles in West Virginia and southwest Virginia. North Carolina’s denial was based in large part on uncertainty over whether the mainstem of the pipeline would ever be completed.
At the time, the project was lacking three sets of federal permits following legal challenges by legal groups. But Mountain Valley has since regained two of the three permits for its main pipeline. And it says it’s proceeding with plans for the extension.