RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A coalition of community and environmental groups has filed a legal challenge to Virginia regulators' decision to grant a conditional water quality permit for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The groups filed a petition Thursday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond contesting the Virginia State Water Control Board's December approval of a water quality certification. The citizen board of gubernatorial appointees voted 4-3 in December to approve the permit but added a number of conditions.

The groups argue the board and the state Department of Environmental Quality haven't adequately protected Virginia's waters.

A DEQ spokeswoman says the agency can't comment on legal challenges. Board members are also prohibited from responding.

Richmond-based Dominion Energy is the lead developer of the natural gas pipeline project, which would cross West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.