Thursday, December 13, 2018 Medina 27°
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Activists question commissioners on NEXUS accident policy

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MEDINA — Kathie Jones of Sustainable Medina County told county commissioners that residents need to know how to react if there is an emergency with the NEXUS pipeline and compressor station.

“What I would like to ask, Is there an emergency management plan, and ... has anyone seen it?” Jones said during the public speaking portion of Tuesday’s commissioner’s meeting.

“I know other counties have one, an emergency management plan for this NEXUS pipeline.”

Commissioner Adam Friedrick said the county has held multiple meetings on the subject of an emergency response plan.

“The plan in essence is to handle the NEXUS pipeline as we would any other pipeline emergencies and I know there are folks that think this is different because it is a large pipeline,” he said.

Jones said other Ohio counties seem to think that is the case.

“Summit County plans to create a special emergency response fund for NEXUS pipeline problems,” Jones said.

“I would think that you would be more concerned because they only have a small sliver that is going to be affected by the pipeline and they are concerned enough to have a special fund that they want to put together.”

Jones asked how the $349,650 received by the county from NEXUS would be allocated, and if any of that money would be going toward creating an emergency response fund.

“I would say no,” Commission President Bill Hutson said. “The money is in the general fund, and we have not talked about any kind of a special fund.”

Hutson said that even if the commission did decide to set aside that money specifically for disaster relief, it would most likely not be enough to cover any potential issues resulting from the pipeline.

Commissioner Pat Geissman said the safety of Medina County residents has been addressed since the beginning of the NEXUS pipeline project.

“Kathie, I would not want you to leave here thinking that the commissioners have turned their back on emergency management,” Geissman said. “We got together with many of the fire departments in Medina County, there is a plan in place that would basically take care of any emergency that would occur with that pipeline or any pipeline.”

Jones added, “It is fine that you know, or that Christine Fazio knows or that some firefighters, that they do know, but if the residents don’t know it is too late when it happens.”

The Gazette reported last year that residents can opt to receive emergency alerts via text, voice or emails. For text alerts only, text the first five letters of your city, township or village to 69310. For full service, including voice, email and weather alerts, go to www.medinacountyema.org.

Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or nhavenner@medina-gazette.com.


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