Federal regulators have approved a plan for a natural gas pipeline through part of western Maryland near Hancock.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Columbia Gas line plan on Thursday.
The proposed pipeline would extend 3.37 miles from Columbia's network in Pennsylvania, through Washington County and under the Potomac River to reach the distribution system of Mountaineer Gas in West Virginia.
Maryland regulators approved the plan in March, despite opposition from environmentalists who said the state should hold more thorough vetting of the pipeline's potential environmental impacts.
Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles says the state is holding the project to strong environmental conditions beyond requirements by the Army Corps of Engineers and the federal energy commission.