A federal appeals court issued a stay on Monday blocking construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline until it can fully rule on the impact of the proposed methane gas pipeline on soil, water, and wildlife in the Jefferson National Forest. Congress sought to clear the way for the already-delayed and over-budget pipeline when it raised the debt ceiling in late May, but environmentalists argue it overstepped its Constitutional authority when it ordered agencies to ignore federal regulations and approve the beleaguered pipeline project, which has suffered numerous defeats before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Congress cannot mandate that federal regulators throw caution to the wind — environmental laws are more than just mere suggestions, and must be adhered to,” Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous said in a statement. (AP, Roanoke Times, E&E $, West Virginia Public Radio, Politico Pro $, Wall Street Journal $, Construction Dive, Politico Pro $, The Hill, Reuters, Bloomberg Law, Politico, Politico Pro $)