While no pipelines broke ground in 2016, one was finally granted approval to commence, but it wasn’t until the beginning of February 2017.
Three pipelines are expected to be constructed in the county, barring any surprises. They are the Rover, Utopia and NEXUS lines. Rover officials had hoped the construction process would have been moving by the end of 2016, but after they failed to get the necessary approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, attorneys petitioned the agency to take action. It did.
The Rover Pipeline, more than 710 miles long, will run from West Virginia to Michigan. It is estimated to be a $4.2 billion project. It will have the capacity to transmit up to 3.25 billion cubic feet of gas. The gas will be pumped to the pipeline from eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Rover Pipeline was the first of the three projects to be announced here. One of the biggest concerns was from farmers wanting to make sure the disturbed ground would be restored to full productivity. Public hearings allowed for those issues to be entered into the record.
The Kinder Morgan Utopia Pipeline is only in Ohio, so it operates under state regulations, not federal ones. The line will start in Harrison County and move northwest to Fulton County. There will be four points feeding into the line in Harrison and Carroll counties. The pipeline will enter Wayne County east of Mount Eaton in Paint Township and exit west of New Pittsburg. Affected townships in Wayne are Paint, Salt Creek, East Union, Franklin, Wooster, Plain and Chester.
NEXUS will affect only Chippewa Township in Wayne County, and Rover will cut through the same townships as Utopia.
Because Rover and Utopia will follow similar paths, construction of the Kinder Morgan line will follow that of Rover, Commissioner Ann Obrecht said.
Allen Fore, Vice President of Public Outreach for Kinder Morgan, said in October representatives of the pipeline had visited every affected township twice and had visited every board of county commissioners along the path. Those who do the construction work will live here and not be flown here, he added.
Fore is hopeful construction will begin in the summer, and it will be in service by 2018.
Kinder Morgan has been working with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation to make sure soils are segregated and returned properly. He said he believes there should be a negligible effect, and there will be a temporary provision for loss of crops. “We are trying to make sure landowners are made whole,” he said.
The Ohio State University will do a multi-year study to see how productive the land is post construction.
There was a lot of discussion about the NEXUS Pipeline, which will cut through about 6 miles of Chippewa Township. There was a big push to have the proposed route moved to the south to avoid urban areas in favor of more rural settings. The FERC ultimately did not recommend moving the route.
The 255-mile pipeline was originally designed to come up from Kensington and travel north to meet up with a pipeline in Michigan, eventually making its way to Ontario, Canada. The 36-inch line will be capable of moving 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day and will not exceed a pressure of 1,440 pounds per square inch.
Perhaps the biggest news for the Wayne County commissioners and engineer was the fact that all three companies signed road use maintenance agreements, which are designed to protect county and township roads from excessive wear and tear from the heavy equipment that will be used to construct the pipeline and haul pipe to the sites.
Reporter Bobby Warren can be reached at 330-287-1639 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is @BobbyWarrenTDR on Twitter.