Groups fighting W.Va. pipeline ask court to block progress

FILE - This Sept. 29, 2016, file photo, shows a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline under construction near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. The Army has notified Congress Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, completing the four-state project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois. The Army intends to allow the crossing under Lake Oahe as early as Wednesday, Feb. 8. The crossing is the final big chunk of work on the pipeline. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Five citizen groups are asking a federal appeals court to overturn the West Virginia environmental agency’s approval of a Clean Water Act authorization for a proposed natural gas pipeline.
Lawyers for the groups filed their petition for review Friday afternoon with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail ( reports the state’s Department of Environmental Protection declined last month to grant a hearing to the groups. They had appealed after the agency approved the Clean Water Act certification for the pipeline project. The agency’s head, Secretary Austin Caperton did not give a reason for the denial.
The natural gas pipeline would run about 300 miles through West Virginia and Virginia.
The groups include the Sierra Club, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the Indian Creek Watershed Association, Appalachian Voices and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail,