Neighbors Against NEXUS bands Ohio residents together to fight the NEXUS Pipeline
By Chris Galford-
Many people kick off the new year with resolutions, but few with as far-reaching aims as those of the Neighbors Against NEXUS, a group of northwest Ohio residents aiming to block the proposed NEXUS pipeline. The project’s lead developers, DTE Energy Co. and Spectra Energy Corp., sent homeowners letters in August of last year, seeking permission for their surveyors to establish rights-of-way, but since then, there has been a groundswell against the project.
“We’re a multi-county organization. It’s representing all of the counties along the route of the NEXUS pipeline. Our focus is to reroute the pipeline into an energy corridor, so that there’s some sensible sort of path for Ohio, instead of pipelines all over the state. It’s below ground, it’ll be buried. It’s 42 inches, 1440 PSI. That is a huge pipeline; you could drive a John Deer through it,” said Liz Athaide Victor, the organization’s leader, at a community meeting on January 14.
For reference on that PSI, by the way, Liz established that Columbia Gas, for example, utilizes 30-120 PSI in its pipelines. That’s a difference in force and scope of thousands. The pipeline is presently planned in an arc across the face of northwest Ohio, heading under the Maumee River, twisting through parks, crossing county roads and diving through Waterville and heading straight up across the border into Michigan.
Given the sheer scale of the project and the PSI involved, it’s no great wonder why neighbors are concerned, but there has also been worry as to how the companies involved have been handling the issue of safety at large. Those dispatched letters, previously mentioned, gave fair warning of the pipeline to homeowners in its immediate path. There are others, according to NAN, who could have used a warning, though.
“The people whose property the pipeline will cross have received letters, but if you’re in the blast zone and you’re in the neighborhood, you did not receive a letter. The blast zone is a calculation that is given in the event of a mishap: how far would an explosion go, fire, that sort of thing,” said Liz.
In addition to holding community meetings, Neighbors Against NEXUS have set up a Facebook page under Swanton Nexus, as well as a website at www.swantonnexus.info for the public to engage and learn from.