The Mountain Valley Pipeline suffered yet another major setback on Monday when a federal appeals court threw out a key state approval, potentially pushing the beleaguered methane gas project even further behind schedule and further over budget. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sharply criticized the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for assuming construction operations would comply with relevant water quality safeguards despite having violated those safeguards dozens of times over the last two years, and “fail[ing] to dispel the tension between MVP’s checkered past and its confidence in MVP’s future compliance.” Setbacks for the pipeline, including Sen. Joe Manchin’s failure to clear the path for its approval during the last Congress, are mounting.

“After countless violations of environmental safeguards and clean water protections, we know that MVP can’t be trusted to comply with the most basic standards of reasonable conduct,” Patrick Grenter, head of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign, told E&E. “With continuous legal setbacks, it has never been more clear that investors should stop throwing money at this doomed project and walk away.” (Washington Post $, E&E $, The Roanoke Times, West Virginia Public Radio, Charleston Gazette-Mail, S&P Global, Courthouse News, Bloomberg Law, Reuters, WBOY)