It took almost a year to build, but the NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline is finished.
Construction on the 255-mile, $2.1 billion pipeline started in October 2017. It will have the capacity to deliver about 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to markets in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario.
The pipeline route carries it across parts of Wadsworth, Guilford, Montville, Lafayette, York and Litchfield townships.
Even though the pipeline and Guilford compressor station is done, landscaping near the project will have to wait until the spring. Heavy rains prevented workers from finishing the landscaping.
“Construction of the pipeline facilities are mechanically complete and the system is flowing natural gas,” NEXUS spokesman Adam Parker said in an email. “Cleanup and restoration activities, a final step of the construction process to restore land to as close as practicable to its original contours, are well underway in and around Medina County.
“Given significant amounts of precipitation across the project route in September, October and November, there may be smaller spans along the pipeline route that are too saturated to properly complete restoration in 2018. These limited areas will be stabilized utilizing (Federal Regulatory Energy Commission) approved, industry standard practices. Where appropriate, erosion control devices will remain in place, the right of way will be seeded with a winter grass and stabilized with straw mulch.”
He said the area will continue to be monitored by environmental inspectors over the winter and spring months. Crews will return to winter stabilized areas in 2019 when soil conditions improve to properly complete restoration.
Landowners with questions regarding restoration activities are encouraged to call the Construction Hotline at (844) 589-3655.
Parker said on Oct. 10, the FERC granted the project's Sept. 17 request to place NEXUS facilities into commercial service. The pipeline and associated compression facilities, including those in Medina County, are operational and are serving customers in Ohio, Michigan and Ontario. He said service at the compressor station commenced on Nov. 12.
“For more than four years, we have worked with landowners, key stakeholders and state and federal agencies to develop a balanced approach to designing, constructing and operating the pipeline,” Parker said. “We are pleased to reach this milestone and begin providing a local and abundant source of energy to Ohio, Michigan and Ontario.
Parker said those along the pipeline route can reach out to NEXUS at https://www.nexusgastransmission.com/public_awareness.
However, Sustainable Medina County spokeswoman Kathie Jones said her work is not over.
The grassroots protest group is concerned that there isn’t an emergency plan in place for residents in case there is an explosion or leak at the compressor station, which is located at 8707 Guilford Road.
Medina County Commissioner Adam Friedrick said previously there are several non-NEXUS gas pipelines already in the county.
“There are pipelines crisscrossing the county now,” he said. “The same emergency management procedures have been in place. There has been some training done by NEXUS. It’s not completely different. It’s the same thing.”
Friedrick said the Medina County Office of Emergency Management would handle any disaster plans in the county.
That may be the case, Jones said, but “we need to let Medina County residents know what to do.”
She proposed a community meeting to inform the residents of the disaster plan.
Jones previously asked commissioners to pay for air monitoring around the compressor station, but they declined. The baseline monitoring has already been done before the project had gas running through the lines.
“Now, it’s like a new car,” Jones said. “Everything is perfect. In the future, maybe in a couple months, we’ll monitor it again to see the level of toxins.”
Sustainable Medina County is running a fundraising effort on its website, sustainablemedinacounty.org, to help pay for the monitoring.
NEXUS, first proposed in August 2014, is a business partnership of Detroit-based DTE Energy and Spectra Energy, which is owned by Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge Inc. The pipeline will travel through almost a dozen Ohio counties, into Michigan and then to a hub in Canada.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact reporter Bob Finnan at email@example.com.