ROANOKE, Va. – Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters experienced a setback on Wednesday.
A Federal Appeals Court has upheld Virginia's water quality review for the project.
The panel rejected arguments by conservation groups that the State Water Control Board incorrectly found a "reasonable assurance" that streams and wetlands would not be harmed by the pipeline.
The ruling applies to more than 500 crossings of bodies of water that the pipeline would make on its path through southwest Virginia.
Mountain Valley Pipeline released the following statement:
"We are pleased with the August 1, 2018 opinion by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied a petition for review and affirmed the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) and State Water Control Board certification that MVP's construction activities and in-service operation would not harm Virginia's waters. Virginia's water quality certification was the product of months of dedicated work by the VDEQ to evaluate the infrastructure project and ensure the measures to which MVP had committed would protect the Commonwealth's streams and wetlands. With a targeted in-service during the first quarter 2019, the MVP team looks forward to continuing it partnership with the agencies as they work together to protect the State's waterways during the construction and in-service operation of this important natural gas infrastructure project."