McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- Federal regulators have ordered a stop to the construction of a 300-mile (483-kilometer) natural gas pipeline on a swath of national forest, following a recent decision by a federal appeals court.
In a letter Friday to Mountain Valley Pipeline officials, the Federal Energy Commission said that the company hadn't obtained rights-of-way or temporary use permits needed for the pipeline to cross federally owned lands since the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals canceled permits last week. Therefore, it says, construction "must cease immediately."
Construction of the pipeline, which would run through Virginia and West Virginia, prompted protests earlier this year from environmentalists. Some protesters have climbed into trees on the pipeline's path and chained themselves to construction equipment.