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Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC v. Nelson Co. Board of Supervisors

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20054
Nos. 3:18-cv-00115, (W.D. Va., 03/09/2020) (Moon, J.)

A district court granted a pipeline company's motion for partial summary judgment in a lawsuit concerning a Virginia county board's denial of the company's request to traverse floodplains to construct an interstate natural gas pipeline. The company argued that it was not obligated to comply with the county's floodplain regulations, which prohibited structures that transported hazardous materials in a flood hazard area, because they were preempted by federal authorization of the pipeline pursuant to the Natural Gas Act (NGA). The county moved for summary judgment, arguing that NGA authorization was not intended to displace its local regulatory authority over the pipeline. The court found that the county's regulations and denial of the company's request stood as a clear obstacle to the meaning and purpose of the NGA and thus was preempted as applied to the pipeline. It therefore granted partial summary judgment to the pipeline company and denied the county's motion for summary judgment.