Federal officials halt Atlantic Coast pipeline construction

FILE - In this March 6, 2018 file photo, a worker with a chain saw heads to the area where trees are being cleared for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Wintergreen, Va. Developers of the proposed pipeline have asked federal regulators for permission to continue cutting down trees along the route beyond an initial timeline meant to protect birds and bats. (Jay Westcott/The News & Advance via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Federal officials have ordered that construction be halted on the Atlantic Coast pipeline, days after a federal appeals court threw out two key permits for building the 600-mile natural gas pipeline.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the order in a letter Friday to Dominion Energy, the project’s lead developer.
On Monday, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit was “arbitrary and capricious” regarding its effect on five threatened or endangered species.
The judges also vacated a right-of-way permit for the pipeline to pass underneath the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The pipeline is slated to start in West Virginia and run through Virginia and North Carolina.
In a statement, Dominion Energy said it is working to resolve the issues holding up construction.