Bat species could be latest roadblock in NEXUS pipeline through Northeast Ohio

Bat species latest roadblock in NEXUS pipeline
Posted at 6:17 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 19:30:59-05

A threatened species of bat is one of many possible roadblocks in the construction of the NEXUS gas pipeline through parts of Northeast Ohio, affected homeowners told News 5. 

Jonathan Strong, co-founder of the Coalition to Reroute Nexus, is a Medina Co. homeowner whose property would be split by the proposed high-pressure natural gas pipeline. 

“The pipeline is to come straight through here,” Strong said pointing to a wooded area on the edge of his 11-acre property. “All of these trees around here would be clear cut, bulldozed.” 

The trees are home to wildlife including birds, deer and bats. 

This part of the state is home to northern long-eared bats that were classified as a threatened species in 2015. Their habitat is supposed to be protected during spring and summer when the bats nest in trees. 

Strong explained that it’s the same time that pipeline company is planning to dig. He said it’s possible that NEXUS would be granted an exception to cut down the trees. 

“They would sacrifice bats that's just how the process works, there’s always a way out,” Strong said.  “I just wish there was a way out for human life.” 

Strong and his Coalition to Reroute Nexus co-founder Paul Gierosky said they’re even more concerned about the safety of the families that will be living near the pipelines. 

“This is a densely populated area and that’s not safe,” Gierosky explained. “There’s a better route for this pipeline and it’s not through Medina County.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Spectra Energy told News 5 that the project will not endanger the viability of the long-eared bat species and the company is still committed to putting the pipeline in service by the end of 2017.   

Another temporary barricade for the project is the recent resignation of one of three members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, DC. The commission is responsible for the project’s final approval.

The company issued the following statement: 

Environmental stewardship is a core value of NEXUS Gas Transmission and we incorporate environmentally sustainable practices into every stage of the project’s development.

The NEXUS Project has undergone rigorous environmental review and has been publicly evaluated for more than two years to ensure that the project’s proposed design and construction will comply with strict state and federal regulations for protecting threatened and endangered species.

At every stage of the process, we work with teams of highly specialized environmental professionals to guide us through project review and ensure that we’re in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the federal agency with primary jurisdiction over U.S. interstate natural gas pipeline projects, issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement in November of 2016 which found that, “Based on [FERC and US Fish and Wildlife Service’s] analyses we have concluded that [NEXUS] Projects-related impacts on federally listed species would be reduced to levels that would not threaten a species population viability, or contribute to trends toward extinction.”


We remain committed to placing the NEXUS project in service in the fourth quarter of 2017 and are working with our contractors to ensure a safe and responsible construction plan is in place to achieve a 2017 in-service once authorized by the Commission.