BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The fight over a controversial natural gas pipeline came to a Baltimore courtroom Tuesday morning.

Protestors delivered a bold and blunt message, singing “No, no no no,” on the sidewalks just minutes before the years-long fight over the controversial Potomac Pipeline came to the courtroom.

Columbia Gas Transmission is suing to use the state property to construct the pipeline in Western Maryland, despite pushback from environmental groups.

“They had the audacity to sue the state of Maryland and claim eminent domain. It is absurd that a private company can claim eminent domain over public land,” a protestor said.

62 Maryland lawmakers have signed an open letter opposing the pipeline, and the Maryland Board of Public Works voted unanimously against granting the company an easement to build the proposed three and a half mile pipeline under the Potomac River.

Running underground, the natural gas pipeline would link gas handlers in Pennsylvania and manufacturers in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle.

Activists are concerned about it carrying gas produced by fracking.

“I’m a resident of Washington County. I’m scared for our water. I’m scared for the communities that are surrounding the pipeline, and I’m scared for future generations that will be locked into a fossil fuel future if this pipeline is built,” said Brooke Harper with Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

In past statements to WJZ, the company writes that the pipeline is critical to economic growth in regions including Western Maryland, and promises to build it in a “safe and environmentally conscious manner, that would not pollute the drinking water,”

Kimberly Eiten

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