Local residents fight back against proposed pipeline

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A group of residents is fighting to get a proposed natural gas line rerouted. Tonight they're holding a meeting about the Nexus Gas pipeline project. It would run for about 250 miles from eastern Ohio into southeastern Michigan with some of it going through Wood, Lucas and Fulton counties.

Deb Swingholm moved to a farm house in Fulton county several years ago. She was shocked to learn her home was in the study zone for a proposed 42 inch natural.gas pipeline, "Any house or building near a 42 inch gas line is in jeopardy of being near a rupture, a leak or an explosion. While they don't happen often,when they do, they are catastrophic."

Swingholm says she understands the need for pipelines but says this is not the place to put it. She says in addition to her safety concerns it would run right through the environmentally fragile oak openings region, "I understand there is gas in southeast Ohio that needs to be moved to market. I don't see this area with the ecologically sensitive habitat and the population being the right place to put that kind of pipeline in."

Walter Lange owns a tree farm. Some of his property may be affected by the pipeline, "Its got to be moved farther south to get it away from the Oak Openings region and farther west to get it away from the population center we have here."

Lange says while people would be compensated he believes the risks far outweigh the benefits. He says in addition to his safety and environmental concerns, he thinks it will affect home values."It surely has to affect the re-sale value of your home with an immediate depreciation of your home's value."

A spokesman for Nexus told us earlier this month the project is in the development stage and that construction is not expected to begin for another two years. He says interstate, underground transmission lines are the safest way to move natural gas. He pointed out that a path for the pipeline has not been finalized. Because of that neighbors like Lange say they will keep fighting."We're making headway but its slow."

The Northwest Ohio Chapter of The Coalition to Re-route Nexus Pipeline is holding Tuesday night's meeting for neighbors in the path of the proposed pipeline. It starts at 7pm at the Swanton Church the Nazarene on Airport Highway.