Residents argue against Nexus pipeline as federal officials are set to recommend a final route

Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 19:10:30-05

Local residents are putting up a fight to keep themselves safe and their property off limits as federal officials are about to recommend a Nexus pipeline route.

"Literally, to go right through the middle of the farm and say that's the way it's going to be, we think that's wrong," said Jim Harvey, a Seville resident who is affected by the pipeline. 

There are three different routes under consideration for the natural gas pipeline, which is set to run from southeast Ohio to the middle of Michigan. Each route, proposed by the Nexus gas transmission company, includes parts of Stark, Summit, Wayne, Medina and Lorain counties.

Harvey's backyard is on a route proposed in July in response to environmental concerns issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

"Basically, it will destroy this farm," added Harvey who raises horses and cattle on 160 acres.

Harvey is also concerned that a pipeline on his property would significantly devalue it. And he is worried about the pipeline exploding.

"We're all frightened here," said Georgia Kimble of Medina. "It would not only destroy this land here, it would destroy our neighbor's too."

Kimble said her and her family's property are on a route first proposed by Nexus more than a year ago.

FERC is expected to recommend one of the three routes November 30th. Construction is expected to begin early next year if federal officials approve the entire project.

"People don't want to buy a property that's next to a dangerous pipeline," said Kimble.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce supports the pipeline project, saying it will create 6,800 jobs and have an economic impact of $830 million.

In a statement, Adam Parker, a Nexus spokesman, said the company is communicating with landowners to ensure they can still enjoy their property and farm their land. Parker also said the company continues to seek review from numerous federal and state agencies.