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Responding to Public Concerns, Company Tweaks NEXUS Pipeline Route – But Not Enough, Critics Say

A map showing updates to the proposed NEXUS pipeline's route. [Nexus Gas Transmission]
A map showing updates to the proposed NEXUS pipeline's route.

NEXUS Gas Transmission has been hearing from residents critical of a gas pipeline proposed to run through eastern and northern Ohio, during an early phase in the federal review process. With that phase largely complete, those critics say the company - a joint venture of Spectra Energy and DTE Energy - has made changes in response to some, but not all of their concerns.

The plan is to build a 36-inch underground gas line running from eastern Ohio's shale fields northwest of Cleveland, along Lake Erie and into Michigan.

Critics say it would have crossed sensitive environmental terrain near Toledo, the Oak Openings region - but now the company will re-route around that area.

But Paul Gierosky, a Medina resident with the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS, said it's still problematic that the pipeline would pass through densely populated areas in Summit and Medina Counties, including the City of Green, between Akron and Canton.

"On the eastern end of the line, they're doggedly clinging to their preferred route, for no other reason than economic justification," he said. 

Gierosky said dozens of governmental authorities, including county commissioners and health officials, support his group's revised route - which he said would impact fewer nearby residents.

Arthur Diestel, a spokesman for NEXUS Gas Transmission, said the company has made 129 tweaks to the route based on public feedback.

He said the critics' alternative for the northeastern part of the route is untenable.

"It's not located in the market areas and therefore does not accomplish the project's purpose and need," Diestel said.

The preliminary phase of federal review ended earlier this month, but people can still submit comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Diestel says there could still be more changes before the company files a formal proposal with the feds later this year.