The U.S. District Court of Maryland this week blocked construction of a pipeline under state-owned land in western Maryland, agreeing with Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh that Columbia Gas Transmission should not be allowed to move forward with the project.
Columbia Gas filed its lawsuit May 17 after the Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously voted against granting an easement for a segment of the pipeline that would be drilled under the Western Maryland Rail Trail, Kallanish Energy learns.
The lawsuit sought a preliminary injunction to grant Columbia Gas immediate access to the property. The state Attorney General’s motion to dismiss was filed June 17.
“We are pleased that the court has agreed that a private pipeline company cannot force the State to accept a pipeline under the Western Maryland Rail Trail,” said Attorney General Frosh, in a statement. “We will continue to defend Maryland’s right to control its public lands against any other efforts by the natural gas industry to move forward with this project.”
The proposed line would have moved shale gas from Pennsylvania to a proposed insulation factory in West Virginia.
Over 60 Maryland General Assembly members signed a letter opposing the granting of an easement.
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