RICHMOND, Va. — Environmental groups and the lead developer of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are at odds over what happens now that a federal appeals court has vacated a key permit for the multistate project.

The key developer and the environmental groups that sued disagree over whether work can continue on the natural gas pipeline.

Environmental groups say construction and any associated activity must stop, now that the permit dealing with threatened and endangered species has been invalidated.

But a Dominion Energy spokeswoman says the project “will move forward with construction as scheduled.”

A spokeswoman for the federal commission with the lead in pipeline oversight declined to give an immediate comment on the issue.

The approximately $6.5 billion, 600-mile pipeline is designed to start in West Virginia and cross Virginia and North Carolina.

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