SCOTUS Decides US Forest Service has Authority to Permit Atlantic Coast Pipeline
June 15, 2020
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued their opinion today (Monday, June 15, 2020) in the consolidated case of US Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association and Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association. In a 7-2 opinion SCOTUS held that the US Forest Service (USFS) has authority to permit the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) including land traversed by the Appalachian Trail managed by the National Parks Service (NPS) within national forests.
A previous ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said no on multiple grounds and invalidated a previously issued US Forest Service permit. Today, SCOTUS reversed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision.