Spectra Energy will file its final draft later this month with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct the 250-mile NEXUS gas transmission pipeline.
The 36-inch proposed line is expected to cross Oberlin’s southern border and pass through Pittsfield Township. It’s expected to carry 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from Kensington, Ohio, to Willow Run, Mich., and connect to service lines in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Canada.
Spectra Energy has made 129 changes to its proposed pipeline path since the beginning of the year and pre-filed a draft report with FERC in June that addressed economic impacts, two alternative routes, and hiring practices.
Spokesman Arthur Diestel said in an email the pre-filling process allowed NEXUS to get additional feedback from stakeholders and FERC prior to submitting their final draft.
“NEXUS will file its certificate application later this month,” he said. “The FERC application initiates the agency’s formal environmental review of the project.”
FERC will review environmental impacts from the final draft and how Spectra Energy plans to minimize these impacts.
Diestel said landowners, residents, and stakeholders will have an opportunity to talk about concerns they have with the project during the review process.
“It will also prompt a rigorous environmental review by numerous state and federal regulatory agencies,” he said.
NEXUS’s pre-filed draft stated it will cross 30 active railroads and four abandoned railroads with two in Lorain County — the Conrail and Norfolk & Western railroads.
It’s expected to stretch 21 miles across the county. Two Christmas tree farms, 23 public roadways, and 17 residential properties will be within 50 feet of the construction zone.
The draft stated Spectra would employ 36 full-time workers for operation and maintenance of the project.
Roughly 2,320 construction workers would be hired for the job.
The pipeline is expected to generate $2.9 million in annual tax revenue and have a $55.4 million economic impact on Lorain County alone, according to materials published by the company.
Spectra Energy evaluated its own southern alternative route and another proposed by the city of Green and members of the Coalition to Reroute NEXUS prior to submitting the pre-file drafts.
Green asked for the line to be moved away from Oberlin’s border and closer to the village of Wellington. It would also have added 9.9 miles to the proposed route.
Spectra’s route would have moved the pipeline out of Lorain County and add 2.7 miles to the route.
Both plans were ruled out as not meeting the project’s target needs or markets.
If the route is approved by FERC and other federal and state agencies, construction will begin in 2017.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.
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