Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kinder Morgan Utopia Pipeline Challenged

We’ve questioned whether Kinder Morgan should qualify for eminent domain rights for its planned Utopia pipeline. This issue has been now been brought to court and a Wood County Common Pleas judge ruled today that the company behind the Utopia East pipeline project does not have eminent domain rights, throwing a potentially expensive roadblock into the project’s path.

Toledo Blade report

“It’s probably the most important eminent domain case in the United States right now,”

Judge Robert Pollex ruled that Kinder Morgan’s plan to pipe ethane from the Utica shale region in eastern Ohio to a chemical company in Windsor, Ont., is not necessary and not for a public use, and thus the company cannot use eminent domain to force Wood County landowners to give easements on their property.

He ruled that Kinder Morgan’s proposed project is not necessary or for public use, and does not qualify as a common carrier, because only the Canadian company would directly benefit. He also expressed incredulity that state law allows private companies to essentially grant themselves eminent domain rights.

FERC Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement for Nexus Pipeline

Yesterday FERC issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Nexus pipeline proposal.

It seems that Nexus will not be forced to make any major re-routes and re-route proposals were disregarded, ignored or decided against, even though they represented clear benefits to local residents and protected land and water resources.

The EIS is a major milestone for the project and suggests construction will begin as planned in early 2017.   According to the Toledo Blade FERC concluded the pipeline and its associated projects will “result in some adverse environmental impacts.” But the regulatory commission, which oversees interstate pipeline projects, said those impacts will “be reduced to acceptable levels with the implementation of NEXUS’s and Texas Eastern’s proposed mitigation measures and the additional measures recommended by staff in the final EIS.”

FERC said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assisted with the document. Each will present their own their own conclusions and recommendations, but FERC has jurisdiction over the project.

The current Nexus route represents approximately 200 acres of the Oak Openings region where clear cutting of trees and trenching activities will disturb globally rare habitat.

Click here to download the EIS

 

 

August 10 FERC Comment Meeting Swanton OH

This is our last chance to voice our opposition to the Nexus pipeline and compressor station.

FERC will be holding a series of meetings throughout Ohio and Michigan – Swanton OH will host the first one.  Toledo Blade Article  Please come, even if you don’t plan to speak – join us in opposing this unnecessary and dangerous project.

FERC is primarily focused on environmental concerns… that means Air Quality/ Air pollution, Water Quality, Wetlands, Drainage, Flooding, Drinking wells, any issues related to de-watering, Native Plants/Animals, Endangered Species, damage to the Oak Openings Region.

*FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) has the final say.  They alone have the power to deny or approve the Nexus project

Please tell all your neighbors along the route and invite them to come: Waterville, Whitehouse, Neapolis, Swanton, Metamora.

FERC Comment meeting August 10 at Swanton High School 5pm Please come and show your opposition to the Nexus pipeline and compressor station

FERC Comment meeting August 10 at Swanton High School 5pm Please come and show your opposition to the Nexus pipeline and compressor station

 

 

Nexus Pipeline: FERC Releases Draft and Schedules Hearings for August

NEXUS PIPELINE UPDATE:  FERC has issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).   READ THE DEIS

We will have a short window of time to review it and reply to FERC with any comments. Comments will be accepted through August 29

This is the FINAL comment period for the Nexus pipeline proposal.  FERC has scheduled public hearings as well.  SAVE THE DATE – August 10 is the meeting for the NW Ohio area – Swanton, Whitehouse, Waterville, Neapolis, Metamora.  Location:  Swanton High School. You may arrive at any time after 5:00 PM and FERC will stop taking comments at 10:00 PM.

Our primary goal is to fill the room to capacity and to get effective comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement documented in the public record. Your presence matters.

Please share this with your neighbors.  Even if you don’t wish to speak, please plan to come and support your community in saying NO to this destructive project.

Here are the dates and locations:Below is the schedule for FERC’s upcoming public comment hearings:

August 10, 2016
Swanton High School
604 North Main Street
Swanton, OH 43558
(419) 826-3045

August 11, 2016
Tecumseh Center for the Arts
400 North Maumee Street
Tecumseh, MI 49286
(517) 423-6617

August 15, 2016
Quality Inn, Fremont
3422 Port Clinton Road
Fremont, OH 43420
(419) 332-0601

August 16, 2016
Elyria High School Performing Arts Center
601 Middle Avenue
Elyria, OH 44035
(440) 284-5209

August 17, 2016
Wadsworth High School – James A. Mcilvaine Performing Arts Center
625 Broad Street
Wadsworth, OH 44281
(330) 335-1369

August 18, 2016
Green High School
1474 Boettler Road
Uniontown, OH 44685
(330) 896-7575

No Pipelines and No Toxic Emissions – Get Your Yard Signs!

Get in touch and we’ll arrange for you to get yard signs!

yard sign 2 OOR    aw residents yard sign no nexus crop

Let us know how many you need… if we are out, we’ll get more!
At least one more theme coming soon.

These cost us $5 each… so we love donations!  Thanks.

 

 

Pipelines through the Oak Openings region – no thanks.

cbeyl-Cartoon-for-pipeline-protest

 

Thank you to cartoonist/illustrator Charles Beyl for this wonderful cartoon!  We oppose oil or gas pipelines trenching through the globally rare habitats of the Oak Openings region or under the Maumee River – NO Nexus pipeline and no Kinder Morgan Utopia.   Find out more

What is the Oak Openings Region and Why Should Pipelines Avoid this Area?

The globally rare Oak Openings region is a sandy strip of land located in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.  At first glance it doesn’t seem like a grand or magnificent landscape.

However…

The Oak Openings is designated by the Nature Conservancy as “One of America’s Last Great Places”, putting the region on par with the Florida Everglades and rain forests of the Northwest. The sensitive habitats here contain one-third of Ohio’s endangered plant species and are home to a host of rare animals.

The Toledo Area Metroparks, the Nature Conservancy, and the “Wild Ones” are just some of the groups working to preserve and restore the Oak Openings.

Of note are glacial sand dunes, wet prairie and some of the last remaining oak savanna habitats in the world.  Oak savanna is known for its aesthetic appeal, with dappled light, flowers and grasses nestled between towering oaks.  This habitat is particularly supportive to wildlife.

Many local residents have been part of initiatives to restore native plants and habitats such as prairie and oak savanna on their own private land.  Property owners in both Lucas and Fulton County have re-established native plants such as Wild Blue Lupine, Little Bluestem, Blazing Star, Milkweed and Blue-eyed grass.

This in turn supports native animals such as Eastern Bluebirds, Red-shouldered hawks, Red-tail hawks, Bald eagles, Red-bellied woodpeckers, wild turkey and whitetail deer.  Also the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, the Eastern prairie fringed orchid and other Ohio listed animals such as the spotted turtle, Blanding’s turtle, lark sparrow and blue-spotted salamander.

Travelers from across the USA and around the world come here for migratory bird watching opportunities, photography and hiking. This represents millions of dollars to the Northwest Ohio economy.

lupine 5 on dunes

Construction and operation of oil/gas pipelines would be harmful to these sensitive habitats. What damage could pipeline construction mean?

This area has unique geology and hydrology.  Globally significant biological diversity is currently present in this area, but it is threatened by fragmentation, development, invasive plant species and changes in hydrology.  Even tiny changes to these specialized habitats can result in significant outcomes – negative and positive.

The Oak Openings region has a unique variety of specialized soils that support rare plant communities.  Trenching will disturb the soil layers.  Changes in water flow and soil compaction may damage wetlands and wet prairie by restricting water or allowing too much.

Native plant communities would be hard to replace or restore.  It can take years for individual plants to become established, and it can take decades for the matrix of relationships to become established. These plants cannot simply be “re-seeded” like grass.

Introduction of invasive species or water contamination and effects of de-watering are also concerns.

The currently filed (Spectra Energy) Nexus pipeline route would cut through the center of the Oak Openings – their route would disturb approximately 180 acres of the Oak Openings in Lucas and Fulton Counties (calculation is based on a 100 foot wide construction zone).  Kinder Morgan Utopia also plans to trench through the Oak Openings region in Fulton County.

We continue to argue for routes that avoid the historic portion of the Oak Openings region.

oak openings twilight meadow and deer

 

Map of historic Oak Openings Region

oak openings landcover map

Ohio EPA Informational Meeting and Public Hearing – Waterville OH

Ohio EPA Informational Meeting and Public Hearing March 16, 2016 Waterville Ohio - Air quality and emissions from the proposed Nexus Pipeline Compressor Station is the topic.

Ohio EPA Informational Meeting and Public Hearing March 16, 2016 Waterville Ohio – Air quality and emissions from the proposed Nexus Pipeline Compressor Station is the topic.

Ohio EPA Public Hearing on the proposed Nexus pipeline compressor station for Waterville OH – March 16th, 2016.  6:00 pm.  Please come early if you plan to speak.  Our aim is to get as many effective comments on the record as possible. We need to make our case that the compressor station is a hazard for this growing population center. This is our opportunity to present a winning argument backed up with facts and data.