- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A natural gas pipeline project proposed to run from northeastern Pennsylvania to central New Jersey has gotten a key permit from Pennsylvania.

The PennEast Pipeline Company said Monday it received a water quality certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The certification is a prerequisite for final approval before federal regulators who are still reviewing the roughly 120-mile, $1 billion project.

PennEast says the certification shows the company’s plan would minimize environmental impact.

Environmental groups oppose the project saying it could harm wildlife by damaging habitats. They say they’re hopeful New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection won’t approve the project.

The approval came as the pipeline’s application is stalled at the moment before the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee, which lacks the quorum needed to approve projects.

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