US pipeline program challenged by environmentalists

National News

FILE – In this June 22, 2018, file photo, construction crews are boring beneath U.S. 221 in Roanoke County, Va., to make a tunnel through which the Mountain Valley Pipeline will pass under the highway. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended a nationwide program used to approve oil and gas pipelines, power lines and other utility work, spurred by a court ruling that industry representatives warn could slow or halt numerous projects over environmental concerns. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmentalists have filed a new legal challenge against a U.S. government program that allows oil and gas pipelines to be built across wetlands, rivers and other water bodies.

The lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court alleges the program lets companies skirt environmental reviews of potential spills.

The Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity and other groups won a court order last year that blocked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program.

The agency authorized a new permit in January, but environmentalists say officials again failed to consider how that work could impact imperiled fish and wildlife.

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