Fourth Circuit Grants Stay in Endangered Species Act Case

Permits are Required Before MVP Can Proceed with Construction

Doug Jackson, 202.495.3045 or

RICHMOND, VA -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has put a hold on two permits that the fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) requires to proceed with construction activities. By staying the Biological Opinion and Incidental Take Statement, the Court’s announcement effectively means construction must stop on the 300-mile project. Coming just hours after news broke that MVP must pay a multi-million dollar fine to the Commonwealth of Virginia, today’s announcement is a result of a request for stay filed by the Sierra Club, on behalf of a coalition of conservation organizations, including Wild Virginia, Appalachian Voices, Preserve Bent Mountain, Defenders of Wildlife, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and the Center for Biological Diversity.

In response, Sierra Club Staff Attorney Elly Benson released the following statement:

"MVP’s dangerous pipeline project has already destroyed and degraded the habitat of endangered species along its route, not to mention the threat it poses to clean air and water. That’s why, time after time, we have said MVP should stop work on this pipeline. Their rushed, shoddy permitting puts the entire project in question. And time after time, the courts have agreed. Maybe now MVP will do the smart thing, and walk away from this disastrous fracked gas pipeline once and for all.”

David Sligh, Conservation Director for Wild Virginia said:

“We applaud the court's action. This project has already caused great harm to Virginia's environment and people. It is time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to finally live up to its legal mandates and prohibit any further damage. This project cannot be built as proposed while protecting these rare and sensitive species and should be abandoned now.”

Anne Havemann, General Counsel, Chesapeake Climate Action Network said:

“The rush to build this unnecessary and harmful pipeline has polluted drinking water, harmed livelihoods, triggered landslides, and further threatened already endangered species. Given the devastation that construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline has left in its wake, the Court was right to stay the permits. MVP should see the writing on the wall and give up on this disastrous project.”

Roberta Bondurant, with Preserve Bent Mountain said:

"We are encouraged the court recognized the need to protect species and their communities in the path of the MVP. Evidence abounds that MVP construction and erosion and sediment control measures wreak unacceptable damage on our land, forests, water and air. We appreciate the 4th Circuit has said, 'enough.'” 


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