New hearing rejected for pipeline to cross Appalachian Trail

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court has denied a request to reconsider a ruling throwing out a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.
  
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a request from lead pipeline developer Dominion Energy and the U.S. Forest Service to hold a full-court rehearing.
  
In December, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit sharply criticized the Forest Service, saying the agency lacked authority to authorize the pipeline’s crossing of the trail. The panel also said the agency “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources.”
  
Representatives for Dominion Energy and the Forest Service declined immediate comment Monday.
  
The natural gas pipeline would originate in West Virginia and run through parts of North Carolina and Virginia.

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