AUGUSTA — Maine environmental regulators have put a fish-restoration and dam-removal plan on the Penobscot River a step closer to reality.

The Bangor Daily News says the Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday approved a plan to decommission the Howland Dam and build a fish bypass that will enable Atlantic salmon, shad, alewives and other fish to migrate upstream.

That is part of a $50 million plan to remove or bypass three dams on the Penobscot, which would open nearly 1,000 miles of habitat to sea-run fish. Last week, the DEP approved permits to decommission the Veazie and Great Works dams.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has also approved the Penobscot River Restoration Trust’s plan, leaving only the Army Corps of Engineers permits pending.