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CORN coordinating anti-pipeline fight with Green

  • NexusRoute-120116-c-01-copy-tif

    NEXUS pipeline route.

    ED BETZEL / GAZETTE

At least one Medina citizens group intends to coordinate with nearby Green in Summit County to battle the proposed construction of the NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline.

Green City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to hire a Cincinnati law firm to find options to oppose the location of the 255-mile gas line that would cross 10 Ohio counties including Medina, Lorain and Summit if built.

The proposed path goes directly through Green, where municipal officials have been working to oppose the project since it was announced in 2014.

Frost Brown Todd would be retained by the city for an amount not to exceed $10,000, according to the council resolution obtained by The Gazette.

The firm, one of the largest in the midwestern United States, boasted three years ago of expanding its environmental practice.

Frost Brown Todd at that time hired attorneys Joseph M. Reidy and Stephen P. Samuels, former Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio Attorney General staff members, respectively. The two have “numerous contacts with [environmental] regulators,” according to a January 2014 news statement released by the firm.

The Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN), a Medina citizens group opposed to the pipeline, plans to continue working with Green on a legal strategy aimed at halting the project.

“We are cooperating at a high level,” CORN spokesman Paul Gierosky said Thursday. “The strategy and the funding are evolving.”

The new legal push comes just as changes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seem to have opened a window of opportunity for NEXUS challengers.

FERC does not have a quorum to transact business because Chairman Norman Bay resigned Feb. 3, leaving the board with only two members. Normally, FERC operates as a five-member body.

NEXUS had asked FERC for approval to begin construction in the first quarter of 2017 and the pipeline was to have been completed by November.

Now FERC observers have said the board will be unable to act until President Donald Trump appoints and the U.S. Senate confirms at least one more commissioner.

Contact reporter Marina Malenic as (330) 721-4063 or nmalenic@medina-gazette.com.



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