By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Nexus pipeline officials have notified the city of Bowling Green that construction of the natural gas pipeline through this area will begin “in the near future.”
Bowling Green officials have sent notification back that they will be keeping an eye on the construction of the 36-inch pipeline.
The main concern of city officials is the Bowling Green water treatment plant, which sits about 2,000 feet from where the pipeline will be buried. The water reservoir, which supplies the plant, is just 700 feet from the pipeline route.
“We want to make sure Nexus is adhering to the standards,” Assistant Municipal Administrator Joe Fawcett said Monday afternoon.
Nexus Gas Transmission sent a letter to the city earlier this month to make officials aware of company contacts to call in case there are construction problems with environmental, restoration or other issues. The company will make an effort to respond to hotline calls within one hour, the letter stated. A Nexus representative will respond within 24 hours to discuss resolution of concerns, the letter continued.
“We are committed to minimizing any inconvenience our construction may cause,” said the letter signed by Walton Johnson, right-of-way project manager for the Nexus project.
Last week, Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards wrote back. He let pipeline officials know that the city has voiced several concerns about the project – most which have not been resolved.
“I trust and sincerely hope that you and your colleagues know that the City of Bowling Green, it’s administration and city council, have some very basic concerns about the project in terms of its proximity to the city’s state-of-the-art water treatment plant located on the Maumee River and the BG Fault Line nine miles north of the city,” Edwards wrote.
The city has enlisted the help of independent geologists and hydrologists, the Ohio EPA and others – and has registered concerns with the Ohio EPA, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Congress and the Ohio General Assembly.
The mayor noted the city has no power to have the pipeline moved further from the water treatment plant. However, the city will insist “on strict adherence to all of the conditions” put in place for the project.
Over the last decade, the city has invested more than $20 million in making the water treatment facility state-of-the-art. The plant supplies water to several communities in Wood County, plus to Waterville in Lucas County.
Edwards also stressed that Nexus must inform city officials of the pipeline construction schedule.
“I don’t want to learn by accident or by chance the projected date when the Maumee River crossing will commence,” he added.
The mayor warned that there will be independent scientists and seismologists joining with FERC and the Ohio EPA to monitor the routing and the drilling.
“The least little variance in the prescribed format will be met with great resistance and strong public comment as some of the Nexus scientific and engineering shortcomings in the planning of the project in terms of the river crossing and the BG Fault Line are well known and documented,” Edwards wrote.