Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association
UPDATE – June 15, 2020 – The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in our clients’ favor in the Cowpasture case, holding that the U.S. Forest Service has authority to grant a pipeline right-of-way that crosses underneath the Appalachian Trail within a national forest. B&D represented a amici coalition of over 20 trade associations across various sectors, both at the 4th Circuit and at the Supreme Court (which reversed the 4th Circuit’s ruling that the land was instead National Park Service land and thus precluded any pipeline right-of-way without additional legislation by Congress).
On February 24, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, a case evaluating the U.S. Forest Service’s authority to grant rights-of-way under the Mineral Leasing Act of a natural gas pipeline that would traverse the Appalachian Trail 600 feet below ground. Beveridge & Diamond principals Jamie Auslander, John Cruden, and Peter Schaumberg filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers and twenty other trade associations, supporting reversal of the Fourth Circuit’s novel interpretation of two federal statutes to bar the pipeline project.