NEXUS work begins, now with safeguards for local city

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (13abc Action News) - For more than three years, some activists and politicians have been battling the arrival of the NEXUS Pipeline.

The 255-mile-long natural gas pipeline will cross through nine of our local counties, once it's done in late 2018. Despite suffering setbacks, a few continue to the battle, while others are satisfied with progress.

A measure on next week's Bowling Green ballot will try to stymy the installation of the NEXUS Pipeline. But similar to the last measure in Waterville, this may only be symbolic.

"Can't fight the pipeline there. That's a federal matter," Bowling Green mayor Richard Edwards said.

"Once NEXUS was granted the power of eminent domain that ship had sailed," city attorney Michael Marsh said, of others who wanted to stop the pipeline.

"Nobody can compete with that," activist Stacy Owens added.

B.G.'s mayor Richard Edwards says his goal was never to stop the pipeline, just to add in safety measures.

No one single issue has caused me more distress than this NEXUS Pipeline," Edwards said.

"I'm holding out hope that it's not over," Owens said.

Stacy Owen led the group to fight a compressor station near Waterville. She was ready to build her family's dream home next door, when the site was announced.

"And now we're stuck with the property," she said.

Bowling Green’s city attorney is happy with guaranteed Ohio EPA supervision of the river crossing site. He and the mayor are also pleased with federal promises.

"There are 39 safeguards in the FERC order alone," Marsh said. "Almost all of which apply to us."

The NEXUS Pipeline has to cross the maimed river at some point. And it will do just that near Waterville and the Bowling Green water treatment plant. Though the federal government says the risk to the water is minimal, another pipeline burst nearly 30 years ago, in our own backyard.

About 5,000 people evacuated around Fremont when toluene spilled into the Sandusky River. Sun Refining later admitted blame. Some in B.G. are concerned about another pipeline near the water supply.

"Approximately 700 feet from the northeast end of our reservoir out there... We produce water there that covers most of Wood County," Edwards said of Bowling Green's water supply, located near Haskins.

For Owen, there may be hope, but it's waning.

"I did my best. And at the end of the day I am frustrated," Owen said.

Here is the statement from Adam Parker, the spokesman for NEXUS:

NEXUS commenced construction activities in mid-October, which keeps the project on track to meet its targeted in-service late in the third quarter of 2018.

After more than three years of stringent public and agency review, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a Certificate and a Notice to Proceed to proceed with construction activities in Ohio and Michigan. These receipts allowed NEXUS to commence construction activities in mid-October and keeps the project on track to meet its targeted in-service late in the third quarter of 2018 in order to serve markets in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario.

NEXUS makes every attempt to reach agreement with landowners in an honest, fair and reasonable manner. For more than three years, NEXUS representatives have been communicating with landowners and others in the community, keeping them apprised of the FERC process, our work and any updates associated with the project through letters, phone calls, face to face visits, and community meetings. NEXUS has acquired more than 97% of the necessary rights-of-way through voluntary and cooperative negotiations.