The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave final authorization Wednesday to begin construction of the NEXUS gas pipeline through northern Ohio. Communities along the way have tried to stop or re-route the pipeline, and lawsuits are still pending.
The 36-inch underground pipe would carry natural gas from wells in eastern Ohio into Michigan and Canada. Citizens and communities have argued it will harm development or the environment, and that it is an illegal taking of property by the Canadian company Enbridge, which owns the line.
The city of Green in Summit County proposed three alternative routes but was turned down. Spokesperson Valerie Wolford says some of the 8-mile route through Green runs through land that is ripe for development.
“And that will hamper any further development in that area,” Wolford says. “It’s also going through parklands and close to park land. And with that we’re concerned about safety for those who work and play in our community.”
Green has gone to the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to challenge an Ohio EPA water quality certificate that approves the pipeline. The city of Oberlin has not given NEXUS permission to build, either, and asked FERC to reconsider.
A company release says it made 239 changes to pipeline route for engineering, at landowner request or to avoid sensitive areas.
Construction of the 255-mile line is expected to begin this fall and be ready for transmission next fall.