The two energy companies behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced Sunday that they have canceled the project.
The proposed natural gas pipeline, which would have run 600 miles from West Virginia through Virginia to North Carolina, faced challenges for more than six years from groups who fought against construction. Local and national opposition along with permitting delays finally pushed the project to its end as the companies saw their costs rising.
The pipeline, which was intended to cross portions of the Monongahela and George Washington National Forests, would have put numerous bodies of water at risk of increased sedimentation, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center. People living along the pipeline’s route, including members of the Lumbee Tribe in North Carolina and numerous civic groups, objected to disturbances to forests and waterways.
A ruling in May from a U.S. District judge in Montana also questioned the legal basis for certain permits. The judge vacated a general permit that the Army Corps of Engineers had used to authorize pipelines and transmission lines that cross waterways.
The energy companies Dominion and Duke noted that these legal issues made the project’s construction impossible to predict and therefore, unreliable. Their decision to cancel the project is seen as victory for landowners and environmental advocates.
“As they abandon this dirty pipe dream, Dominion and Duke should now pivot to investing more in energy efficiency, wind and solar,” said Gillian Giannetti, attorney at the National Resources Defense Council. “That’s how to provide jobs and a better future for all.”