Fulton County property owners seek change to pipeline routeWritten by Don Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Opponents of a proposed natural-gas pipeline running through Fulton County on its way to Michigan hope to present a united front along with other opposition groups along the pipeline’s 250-mile route.
“We have a union of people, a 250-mile union of people from east Ohio to here,” said Swancreek Township resident Liz Athaide-Victor, who was one of the property owners initially approached by representatives of the NEXUS pipeline project.
Athaide-Victor recently led a meeting of about 35 property owners and residents who gathered at one of the affected properties.
Athaide-Victor said one goal is to get the NEXUS planners to switch their route to one which has already been established for other pipelines.
According to a letter being distributed to township property owners and listing township residents Athaide-Victor and Laura Cole as contacts, concerns about gas pipelines include the danger of explosion; leaks; damage to water wells and septic systems; restrictions on burning leaves and firepits; radon gas; loss of property value and difficulty of selling affected properties; and the noise and pollution from compressor stations installed along the pipeline route.
The NEXUS pipeline is planned to deliver about 2 billion cubic feet of gas a day, linking the Marcellus and Utica shale fields with a pipeline grid in southeast Michigan, according to the project’s website, nexusgastransmission.com.
The site identifies Spectra Energy Corp. and Detroit-based DTE Energy, formerly Detroit Edison, as the “lead developers” for the NEXUS project. Also involved is a company called Vector PIpeline LP, a partnership between DTE Energy and Enbridge Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Enbridge operates storage facilities and pipeline hubs in southwestern Ontario near the Michigan border, according to the NEXUS website. The Vector partnership operates pipelines linking Michigan with the Chicago area.
Though pipeline opponents say gas carried on the pipeline won’t benefit local gas users, the NEXUS site promises “reliable, cost-effective supplies of natural gas to serve local distribution companies, industrial users and natural gas-fired power generators in the Ohio, Michigan, Chicago and Ontario markets.”
Athaide-Victor said the immediate goal of the recent meeting at Laura Cole’s property on Airport Highway in the township, is to get people busy letting local elected officials know of the opposition.
Beyond that, Athaide-Victor said, the goal is to work in concert with property owners elsewhere in northern Ohio, some of whom have been successful in getting the other pipeline developers to switch their planned route.
“We’re not in isolation. We’re not alone. We have a lot of resources to draw on,” she said.
A story posted Nov. 12 on the website of the Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria, west of Cleveland, quoted some residents and one township trustee as saying NEXUS representatives have not been “forthcoming with details,” ignoring requests to send a representative to local town-hall meetings.
The Chronicle-Telegram article cites an e-mail from NEXUS spokesman Devin Hotzel, saying NEXUS right now seeks to establish 600-foot-wide “study corridors” along proposed main and alternate routes to figure out construction needs and address landowner concerns. Once the route is established, the actual pipeline corridor would be much narrower.