The developers behind the NEXUS natural gas pipeline want to begin construction by October 10.
In August, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the $2 billion pipeline that will run through 12 Ohio counties from Northeast Ohio to Michigan and Canada. The federal agency is in the process of reviewing the request.
According to a recent filing with FERC, NEXUS has obtained all of its necessary permits and acquired 97 percent of the right-of-ways. But one place it has not gotten permission to build is in Oberlin.
“Nexus could not start to build the project in the city unless it acquires those easements,” says Carolyn Elefant, who represents Oberlin in the pipeline case.
She says the city has several objections, including concerns that a pipeline breach could destroy nearby buildings such as a recreation complex and a nursing home.
“The concern is that it’s still in very close proximity to residences and buildings along Reserve Avenue and that there are also many buildings within the blast zone of the pipeline,” Elefant says.
Oberlin as well as several environmental groups have asked FERC to reconsider the pipeline.
In a written statement, NEXUS says it does not comment on pending litigation but points out the project “has been publicly evaluated for more than three years.”
FERC says the petitions objecting to the project would not prevent the agency from acting on the Nexus request to begin construction.
On Monday, the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS filed a motion to stay FERC's August 25 certificate for the NEXUS pipeline project.