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NEXUS Opposed to Rerouting Gas Pipeline at Ohio City's Request

NEXUS Gas Transmission LLC said in draft environmental resource reports filed with FERC last week that it is opposed to a request from a northeast Ohio city to reroute about 100 miles of the natural gas pipeline running through the state.

NEXUS, backed by Spectra Energy Corp., DTE Energy and Enbridge Energy Inc., said the City of Green's proposal is not a "reasonable alternative," adding that it would cost an additional $28 million, cause delays in the pipeline's construction and distance it from possible customers in the area.

The company's comments, delivered in draft reports required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) pre-filing process and intended to allow stakeholders an opportunity to weigh-in on the development process, are the latest in  a series of tensions about the pipeline. Elected officials in more than a dozen Ohio communities have either passed resolutions opposing the pipeline or sent letters in support of changing its proposed path to minimize environmental and residential impacts, according to the Coalition to Reroute Nexus (see Shale Daily, Dec. 19, 2014).

In its request to FERC, Green said the proposed NEXUS route was "hastily drawn" and "ill-conceived" (see Shale Daily, March 30). It said the pipeline could threaten wetlands, abandoned mines, residential areas and schools, among other things. Green provided an alternate route in March that it said would reduce those impacts by pushing the pipeline into more rural areas.

The 250-mile NEXUS would connect Utica and Marcellus shale natural gas with markets in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario (see Shale Daily, Sept. 5, 2012). It's being designed with 1.5 Bcf/d of capacity and is expected to originate in southeast Ohio and wind through 11 counties to an interconnect in Michigan that would utilize the existing Vector Pipeline system to carry gas to Ontario.

NEXUS has stressed that the pipeline's final route has not yet been determined. In its draft environmental reports, the company said "it identified and incorporated 129 changes into the proposed pipeline that address stakeholder concerns, minimize environmental impacts and facilitate constructability."

The company added that it continues to evaluate other possible routes and said it would submit a full evaluation of alternatives when it files its formal application with FERC later this year. A spokesman said opposition in the state would not delay the pipeline's planned in-service date of late 2017.

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