Mountain Valley Pipeline changes strategy on permits

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FILE – This July 18, 2018, file photo, shows the Mountain Valley Pipeline route on Brush Mountain in Virginia. The Trump administration is seeking to fast track environmental reviews of the pipeline and dozens of other energy, highway and other infrastructure projects across the U.S. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP, File)

ROANOKE, VA (AP) — Mountain Valley Pipeline says it will abandon plans to use a blanket permit to cross nearly 500 streams and wetlands.

The Roanoke Times reported Tuesday that the project will instead apply for individual approvals for each crossing.

That will lengthen the process for a project that is already swamped by legal and regulatory delays. But an attorney for the project said that switching to individual permits is the most efficient path forward.

The federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has twice set aside the blanket permit. Critics have said that it fails to adequately assess the environmental impacts of a massive pipeline crossing pristine mountain streams.

The 303-mile pipeline will carry natural gas through West Virginia and Virginia.

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