ROANOKE, Va. — The U.S. Forest Service has given the Mountain Valley Pipeline its approval to cross federal forestland in Virginia and West Virginia.

The authorization marks another milestone for the proposed 303-mile underground natural gas pipeline, which was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October.

The Roanoke Times reports the pipeline’s route would traverse about 3.5 miles through parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Giles and Montgomery counties in Virginia and Monroe County, West Virginia.

An MVP official couldn’t be reached by the newspaper for comment Friday. The company has said it hopes to have the project completed by late next year.

Other regulatory hurdles still remain, including a pending Virginia water quality certification.

The Sierra Club also pledged to challenge the Forest Service decision.