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.
Fulton County Health Department is recommending well testing in advance of any pipeline construction on or near your property. In comments made to FERC by the Fulton County Health Department (April, 2015) Commissioner Cupp outlined the issues related to dewatering and potential damage to water quality, the Oak Openings sand aquifer and drinking wells.
Dewatering would occur when pipeline companies need to pump large amounts of water out of a trench during construction. Contamination of the aquifer is also a concern. The concerns about drinking water and wells apply to any pipeline proposal for this area of Northwest Ohio, for example the Nexus Gas Transmission pipeline or Kinder Morgan Utopia.
Baseline testing will help if you need to prove you had a clean and productive well.
We will post later with labs and companies you can contact to do the testing. We will also follow up regarding any grants or financial assistance for well testing. Questions? Contact us.
We know that ET Rover and Nexus are working hard to get their permits and certifications so they can proceed with construction. BUT that day is not here yet!
Public comment and opposition can still sway the outcome.
In the case of the Nexus pipeline, for example, we are continuing to argue for a re-route that is safer and smarter – a reroute that affects fewer homes and families, avoids the aquifer (which feeds drinking wells) and avoids the globally rare Oak Openings region. Our re-route proposals would also move the compressor station further from Whitehouse/Waterville OH.
The projects are still under review. Now is the time to send your objections, comments and environmental concerns to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission CLICK here for more instructions on comments to FERC
We hear it all the time… “what can I do?” WRITE! Will a pipeline damage forest on your property? Are you aware of any native or endangered species near your property or on the pipeline route? Do you live in the Oak Openings region? Are you concerned about water quality or wetlands? FERC is considering environmental impact – and they have the final say on these pipeline projects.
*Note: Kinder Morgan Utiopia is not under FERC jurisdiction.
Based on our request and numerous comments from local residents, the OH EPA has scheduled a public hearing in Waterville Ohio for the Nexus pipeline compressor station. We appreciate they will hear our concerns about air quality, emissions and health risks before considering the issuance of an Air Quality Permit.
Ohio EPA Public Information Session and Hearing – Proposed Nexus Pipeline Compressor Station in Waterville OH
DATE: March 16, 2016
TIME: 6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Waterville Primary School, Community Room
457 Sycamore Lane, Waterville, OH 43566
This hearing is ONLY about air quality and emissions. More details on how to prepare your testimony coming soon. Of course, we want you to attend even if you don’t wish to comment. Contact us with any questions.
At 26,000 horsepower this Nexus compressor station would be one of the largest in the state. Emissions could include benzene, formaldehyde, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulates – all especially hard for children and the elderly to tolerate. Typically a compressor station is not put so close to towns or populated areas. There is a better, smarter, safer way!
Please share this information. Let your friends and neighbors know about the hearing – we must pack the room.
Thank you to Toledo 13abc – great story! There are many questions and local concerns about the Nexus pipeline and compressor station. In particular, long term effects from toxic emissions would be very damaging for the Waterville and Whitehouse area. Too many families, businesses and schools are impacted by the current location. At 26,000 horsepower, this would be one of the largest compressor stations in the state.
13ABC video about the proposed Nexus pipeline compressor station in Waterville
Portions of the report:
You may have heard of the Nexus pipeline. It will transport natural gas. But the I-Team found another part of the project some neighbors say could destroy a thriving area…. something called a compressor station…. As proposed, it’s located about half a mile from land owned by Stacy Owen….
“I have 2 kids with a third on the way. I’m thinking family. How’s this going to happen? How are my kids going to be affected, that kind of thing,” said Owen. Owen’s spearheaded a group fighting this compression station and making sure people know what it would mean to the area.
“I either have to do something or I’m just going to have to deal with it I guess and I decided I have to do something,” said Owen…
“You feel like it’s David and Goliath. We’ve got stones and sling shots and they have legal teams and a lot of money,” said Waterville resident Deb Swingholm.
“It’s frustrating, embarrassing, infuriating that you ask questions and no one will give you an answer. And there’s no one that you can go to to make them, the operators, give you an answer,” said Rick Kazmierczak, Swancreek Township trustee.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, has the final say. That commission is currently taking public input, preparing an environmental impact survey. Opponents think the compressor station’s impact will be huge.
If there’s an accident, who would be impacted? Some say far more than regulations would have you believe. The I-Team learned that the US Department of Transportation calculates a potential impact radius.
When you use the DOT formula, the impact radius around this pipeline and compression station is 943 feet. But in Defiance late year, when a pipeline ruptured authorities evacuated a ¾ mile radius. That’s about 4 times the radius for a pipeline smaller than would be coming through this compression station.
So what’s in the radius around this one? Within a 3 mile radius you find homes, farms, Waterville and about 4000 Anthony Wayne students and staff members.
“We’re concerned that the public knows about what’s actually coming out of there. We’re concerned for the students and staff in our school buildings,” said Jim Fritz, Anthony Wayne Schools Superintendent.
Superintendent Fritz worries about accidents and daily emissions. “There’s still a lot of unknown. I think that’s where the citizens of our area need to ask questions,” said Fritz.
The area has certainly seen change. For example the construction of new US 24. Opponents of this station say they understand growth, they understand the idea of energy independence but they say it doesn’t make any sense to put this station in a part of Lucas County that for the last 10 years has actually been growing….
“We can do it smarter and we can affect less people. The bottom line is, no matter where we put it someone will be affected,” added Kazmierczak.
Which gets the opponents to an obvious questions. If it doesn’t go in their backyard, wouldn’t it just go in someone else’s backyard? If the federal regulators don’t like the Waterville location, the answer is yes.
“But at least I could look at individual straight in the face and say instead of affecting 100 people now we’re only affecting two and I’m sorry it has to be you but the greater good is served by moving it to a more rural type area,” said Kazmierczak. “It’s a terrible situation to be in when you have to choose between two poorer options but at least the common sense option is to get it out of a highly developed area and move it to a less developed area.”
The opponents are also asking about the Lake Erie algae bloom. Digging the pipeline will mean crews will have to dewater where the water table is high. So they’ll be taking water out of the ground to put the pipeline in. But when the water goes out will it go out over farm fields, what nutrients will be running off into stream, rivers and eventually into Lake Erie? How will that affect the algae bloom? No one knows, another reason opponents don’t want the pipeline in the first place.
Right now the Ohio EPA is taking public comment to see if they will hold a public hearing on the compression station. That period ends in a few days. So if you’d like to weigh in, you need to now. The federal government will put out that draft environmental study in the next few months. That’s when the public can weigh in further before a final decision is made.
To contact the Ohio EPA about a compressor station public hearing:
Call the Ohio EPA Public Interest Center at (614) 644-2160
Nexus Pipeline (Spectra Energy, DTE, Enbridge) and the Kinder Morgan Utopia pipeline – both of these proposed pipeline projects plan to trench through hundreds of acres of the globally rare Oak Openings region in NW Ohio. They would clear cut trees in a swath about 100 feet wide, trench it and pump out all the ground water as they dig.
This is unique habitat with glacial sand dunes, wet prairie, wetlands, oak savanna and other specialized micro-habitats. More than one third of Ohio’s rare birds, animals and native plant communities are found here in the Oak Openings region.
Also – Kinder Morgan threatens Bend View Metropark *Nexus would impact Farnsworth Metropark of the Toledo Area.
We are advocating a re-route of the Nexus pipeline and the Kinder Morgan pipeline so they are outside the historic portion of the Oak Openings and outside the associated sand aquifer that supports wetlands and drinking wells.
Please join us to keep pipelines OUT – Preserve the Oak Openings and support efforts to expand restoration and conservation.
We often hear about the adverse health effects from living near a gas compressor station.
Here are excerpts from a recent article from Minisink NY, where emissions from a compressor station are creating problems for the residents. People are reporting a list of symptoms and ailments. People are also leaving their homes or having to sell their homes at low low prices. The 12,260 horsepower station was built in 2013 by Millennium Pipeline, a subsidiary of Columbia Pipeline Group.
(Whitehouse and Waterville OH residents – the Nexus pipeline wants to put a 26,000 horsepower compressor station in your towns. Over 11,000 residents would be affected.)
“November 24, 2015 —
MINISINK, NY — In June, Leanne and Rob Baum and their four children abandoned their house in Minisink, leaving it to the bank holding the mortgage and oversight by a friend. Ominous symptoms from emissions of a 12,600 horsepower gas compressor built in their rural neighborhood two years before by Millennium Pipeline, LLC, prompted their decision, said Leanne. After it had been six months on the market they had no offers on their house, and selling to another family felt morally questionable. “Once you know, you can’t un-know about the hazards,” she said. “I hoped no one would be interested.” No one was, and others in the neighborhood negotiated with “lowball offers” to sell their houses in the once-quiet rural community after they had been a year on the market, Baum said.
The compressor tripled ambient levels of fine particulate matter, which produces inflammation throughout the body and increases the likelihood of heart attacks and other ailments, according to Harvard environmental epidemiologist Joel Schwartz. Volatile organic chemical emissions that SPEHP identified included formaldehyde and benzene, which are considered unsafe at any level and associated with childhood leukemia by the World Health Organization. Rob was one of 12 of the 35 in the survey who developed headaches after the compressor began functioning. A Baum child was one of 10 who had rashes. Respiratory problems affected 22 people—six of the 12 surveyed children had nosebleeds; at least two adults became asthmatic. And, consistent with what the Baums noticed in their children, “Overall mental health and wellbeing levels were below normal for half of the respondents,” according to the survey summary.
“By the time health survey results came out early in 2015, the Baums, collaborating with other Minisink residents, had lost their federal court case against Millennium and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which had approved the compressor. It could have been built in an industrially zoned area in Deerpark, where Millennium already had facilities; they were just avoiding costly replacement of seven miles of pipeline, the Minisink group said. Also, the compressor application’s environmental impact statement omitted mentioning plans for a Wawayanda power plant, secretly documented years before.
“The gas industry and FERC refer to Minisink as a host community, but we are not hosts. We are hostages,” said Pramilla Malick, a Minisink resident…
The Ohio EPA has issued a “draft” permit for the Nexus gas pipeline compressor station proposed for Waterville Ohio. Notice of this draft permit has been placed in the Toledo Blade:
The following matters are the subject of this public notice by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The complete public notice, including any additional instructions for submitting comments, requesting information, a public hearing, or filing an appeal may be obtained at: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/actions.aspx or Hearing Clerk, Ohio EPA, 50 W. Town St. P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216. Ph: 614-644-2129 email: HClerk@epa.ohio.gov Draft Issuance of Permit-To-Install and Operate Waterville Compressor Station Moosman Dr, Waterville, OH 43566ID #: P0119251 Date of Action: 01/12/2016 Permit Desc: Installation of a natural gas compressor station powered by a 29,517 hp natural gas-fired combustion turbine. The permit and complete instructions for requesting information or submitting comments may be obtained at: http://epa.ohio.gov/dapc/permitsonline.aspx by entering the ID# or: Matthew Stanfield, Toledo Department of Environmental Services, 348 South Erie Street, Toledo, OH 43604. Ph: (419) 936-3015 #00915838
Residents may provide comments (over a 30 day window) on environmental and health concerns in regards to this compressor station. We are requesting a public hearing. If there is enough concern expressed by local citizens, then the Ohio EPA will schedule a local meeting in the community. Send your requests to Mike Settles, OHIO EPA Public Interest Center firstname.lastname@example.org You may also phone at 614-728-0021
Comments and resolutions against the proposed Nexus pipeline and compressor station continue to be filed with FERC – in both Fulton County and Lucas County government agencies, school districts and townships have expressed their concerns about the proposal. Here are a few of the most recent letters:
Village of Whitehouse passed a resolution opposing the Nexus pipeline and compressor station; the City of Waterville joined Waterville Township in voicing their opposition.
Anthony Wayne Schools Board of Education passed a resolution regarding dangers posed by the Nexus pipeline compressor station – 5 schools would be within a three mile radius of the proposed location.
Lucas County Board of Health also filed comments.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to present information about the pipeline and compressor station to these groups – and others. We appreciate the responses made on behalf of Northwest Ohio residents regarding health, safety in the face of pipeline proposals.