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Pipe being transported to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Photo credit: Mark Levisay / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ruled Monday that work could resume on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which opponents call "unnecessary and a boondoggle," the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

Work on the controversial pipeline halted last month after a federal appeals court vacated two permits required for the project to complete its 600 mile route from West Virginia, through Virginia, to North Carolina.

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A truck submerged by Florence flooding in Lumberton, NC. ALEX EDELMAN / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Florence, downgraded to a tropical depression, pummeled the Carolinas this weekend, killing 18 so far and instigating flooding that officials said could last through mid-week, CNN reported Monday.

Florence, which scientists predicted would be more than 50 percent wetter due to climate change, is expected to dump 40 inches of rain on parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina, with some swollen rivers not cresting until later in the coming week.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Jones Gap State Park in Greenville County, South Carolina. Jason A G / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

A federal judge invalidated the Trump administration's suspension of the Clean Water Rule, effectively reinstating the Obama-era regulation in 26 states.

The 2015 rule, also known as Waters of the United States (WOTUS) defines which waters can be protected from pollution and destruction under the Clean Water Act. It protects large water bodies such as lakes and rivers, as well as small streams and wetlands.

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A Virginia farm along the proposed path of the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Norm Shafer / Washington Post / Getty Images

August is off to a good start for environmental groups and communities in Virginia and West Virginia who oppose two pipelines that would carry fracked natural gas through the region.

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Coal CEO Bob Murray pushed for looser coal ash rules similar to those put in place last week by the EPA. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Environmental groups expressed concerns over the health impacts of a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to relax regulations on coal ash, CNN reported Saturday.

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

Newly released emails show that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Scott Pruitt has routinely been in contact with one of the most prominent climate denier groups, the AP reported this weekend.

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NPCA Online / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Builders of the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline told federal authorities they will delay construction along 21 miles in West Virginia and 79 miles in Virginia until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issues a revised "incidental take statement," which limits the number of threatened or endangered species that might be accidentally killed or harmed during development activities.

Lead developer Dominion Energy filed documents Tuesday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in response to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling last week. The court sided with environmental groups and their lawyers that the FWS' initial review was not clear enough in the case of the $6.5 billion pipeline and vacated one of its key permits.

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The Atlantic Coast Pipeline proposes to cross 15 miles of the George Washington National Forest. USDA Forest Service

Opponents of the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia's Highland Country and into North Carolina, won a reprieve Tuesday when a federal appeals court invalidated a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) review of the pipeline, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

The ruling was issued by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in Richmond, VA and agreed with environmental groups and their lawyers that the incidental take statement made by the FWS, which limits the number of endangered species that can be killed during construction and operation of a project, was not clear enough in the case of the pipeline.

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Gina Loudon and administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Gage Skidmore

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being sued for its "unlawful and unreasonable delay" in responding to requests for information about the agency's communications with the Heartland Institute, according to a complaint by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The Heartland Institute is an Illinois-based think tank that rejects the science of man-made climate change and has received funding from the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry.

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"Their plan puts the water used by hundreds of millions of Americans for drinking, bathing, cooking and recreation at risk." Blan Holman, Southern Environmental Law Center

Multiple states and conservation groups are legally challenging the Trump administration's decision to delay the Obama-era Clean Water Rule.

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put a two-year suspension on the rule, also known as Waters of the United States (WOTUS), which protects large water bodies like lakes and rivers but also listed smaller waterways such as streams, ponds and wetlands for federal protection.

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A simulated view of the Mountain Valley Pipeline from Giles High School in Pearisburg, Virginia. Hill Studio for Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition

Federal regulators approved plans for two controversial new natural gas pipelines along the East Coast Friday.

In a divided 2-1 vote, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the green light to the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipeline projects, which would carry shale gas through Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, the only dissenting vote, expressed concerns in her written dissent on the redundancy of the collective 900 miles of pipeline, the potential environmental impacts and the relatively small accounted demand for the Mountain Valley project.

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