FRANKLIN CO., Va. (WDBJ7) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended a permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross streams and wetlands in Virginia.
The action follows a federal appeals court ruling earlier this week that vacated a key permit in West Virginia.
On Friday, opponents of the project were also asking why the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hasn't stopped work on the entire project.
Construction continued this week in many locations along the 300-mile corridor, including property in Franklin County, where a lengthy trench filled with water Thursday night.
Opponents were anticipating a stop work order along the entire route, after the federal appeals court invalidated the permit for river crossings in West Virginia, and they were frustrated that the work continued.
Bonnie Law is a pipeline opponent.
"We don't understand why they can't voluntarily push pause on their project," Law told WDBJ7, "why they keep barrelling through other creeks and farms trenching to lay new pipe before FERC shuts them down."
As the work continued in Franklin County, opponents said they face a double standard, one for the pipeline company and another for landowners raising concerns.
"Mountain Valley can get what they want in a matter of hours," Daniel Angle said Friday, "but the landowner takes weeks or months."
Mountain Valley Pipeline released the following statement Friday evening:
"On Friday, October 5, 2018, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Norfolk District suspended its Nationwide 12 Permit (NWP12) for stream and waterbody crossings in Virginia for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. The Norfolk District suspended its NWP12 for MVP pending the resolution of MVP’s NWP12 issued by the USACE Huntington District for waterbody crossings in West Virginia, which the the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court vacated on October 2, 2018. MVP does not expect additional delays to its fourth quarter 2019 targeted in-service date as it continues other construction activities along the route. The MVP project team expects to receive a new or reissued NWP12 from the Huntington District in early 2019, upon which time the Norfolk District’s NWP12 can be reinstated — and stream and wetland crossing work can continue in West Virginia and Virginia."