Outdoor enthusiasts concerned about C&O Canal prospects following court ruling on pipeline

Maryland

HANCOCK, Md. (WDVM) — A recent federal court ruling could impact residents’ recreational use of the scenic C&O Canal. The U.S. Supreme court voted 5 to 4 last week, giving the okay for the 116-mile Penn-East natural gas pipeline’s construction.

This pipeline will extend from southern Pennsylvania through western Maryland and into West Virginia. Environmental critics say the court decision will harm canoeing along the canal and the rail trail for bicycle enthusiasts on the Maryland side of the Potomac.

“The rail trail and the canal is the lifeblood of Hancock at the moment. We just don’t want anything to mess that up. Hancock seems to be growing and we want to keep it that way,” said Jimmy Barnhart, owner of C&O Bicycles in Hancock.

The Sierra Club says it will challenge a right-of-way permit for the pipeline, which must be issued by the National Park Service.

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