The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued hold on two permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that needed for construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
The court was reviewing a lawsuit filed by environmental groups in August. The Sierra Club said in a statement Friday that the suspension effectively means that construction must stop on the 300-mile natural gas project.
The spokeswoman for the pipeline, Natalie Cox told The Roanoke Times that pipeline officials are “disappointed and disagree” with the 4th Circuit’s ruling. The lawsuit alleges that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s approval of the project failed to adequately protect endangered species along the pipeline’s path.
The pipeline would run between northwestern West Virginia and southern Virginia. The pipeline developers has already suspended some construction activities in areas where the work could impact protected bat and fish species after the lawsuit was filed.