The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday that a draft supplemental environmental impact statement will be ready in January for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
There will be a 45-day public comment period, with a final draft expected by next summer.
The project needs the permit to cross the George Washington and Jefferson national forests.
Environmental groups have succeeded in stopping the previously issued permits by going to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
The roughly 300-mile natural gas pipeline is a priority for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He’s trying to get expedited permitting for the project passed in the lame-duck session of Congress after an earlier attempt failed.