Court Tosses Another Crucial Permit for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Loss of Endangered Species Act Review is Yet Another Setback for Controversial Fracked Gas Pipeline

Doug Jackson 202.495.3045 or

RICHMOND, Va. -- Today, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals . A three-judge panel vacated the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) review of the ACP’s impacts related to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), ruling that the FWS “lost sight of its mandate” when rushing the review for the pipeline instead of protecting threatened wildlife. This is the second time that a court has tossed the ACP’s ESA permit, coming a year after the same court ruled the FWS did not properly evaluate the level of harm the pipeline would have on endangered species. The Sierra Club was represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center in this case.

The ACP has been controversial since it was first proposed and has faced several legal setbacks, leaving its future in doubt. 

In response, Sierra Club Attorney Nathan Matthews released the following statement:

"The Atlantic Coast Pipeline threatens endangered species, clean water, and human health for a fracked gas pipeline that we don’t even need. The polluting corporations behind this dirty, dangerous project rushed their application process because they wanted to make a quick buck, and the government agencies tasked with protecting our water, wildlife, and health were all too happy to fast-track the reviews for them, but now their chickens are coming home to roost. We have said all along that many of the ACP’s permits were issued in flawed, rushed processes, and time after time, the courts have agreed.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit