Federal Court dismisses Potomac Pipeline lawsuit


MARYLAND (WDVM) — The main stem of the Potomac River is approximately 405 miles long and acts as a natural border for the state of Maryland, and a handful of nonprofits have made it their mission to attend to the Potomac and all its tributaries, organizations such as the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

“The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is the first grassroots nonprofit dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming and climate change in our region of Maryland, D.C., and Virginia,” said Denise Robbins of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

And for the most part, the organization pushes for natural energy resources and advocates against fossil fuels; so they were surprised when they heard that the U.S. District Court sided with Maryland, upholding the denial of an easement that Columbia Gas needed in order to build a pipeline through the state and the Potomac River.

“We’re so not used to having gas pipelines be rejected,” said Robbins. “The status quo used to just be a pipeline is proposed and then it’s built.”

And they say this development comes as a result of a rise in community advocates, such as Brooke Harper.

“Right after the fracking campaign, we had a lot of local community members in Hagerstown and also in Washington County who were really concerned about the Potomac Pipeline,” said Harper.

According to Harper, this community grew beyond Washington County, reaching people in West Virginia and even D.C.

“We started to educate our county commissioners and elected officials about the dangers of the Potomac Pipeline and work from there, and went to Frederick and Montgomery County and then actually D.C.,” said Harper.

However, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Harper believe that Columbia Gas will challenge this decision.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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