FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — While a permit for the Trans-Canada natural gas pipeline project is pending a decision in federal court, opponents are warning against the environmental dangers from the “fracking” process on the region’s water quality.

The project from Bedford County, Pennsylvania would extend into the town of Hancock in Washington County, Maryland and into the West Virginia eastern panhandle posing potentially harmful geological impacts on the region. Not only would the Potomac River basin be affected, opponents say, groundwater could also be contaminated by leaked gas in fracking wells.

Kai Hagen, a Frederick County councilman says that “in addition to local and regional water pollution, a dangerous threat to public health and drinking water, we’re dealing with the global climate change issue. In that context we really should not be investing large amounts of money in brand new fossil fuel- based infrastructure.”

Hagen warns that farmers and landowners will have to protect their property rights if the federal court gives the pipeline project a green light.