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State official ensures oversight of NEXUS

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    The diagram is similar to what the compressor station in Guilford Township is expected to look like.

    GRAPHIC PROVIDED

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22659587

The diagram is similar to what the compressor station in Guilford Township is expected to look like.

GRAPHIC PROVIDED Enlarge

MEDINA — Christine Fozio, director of the Medina County office of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, wants to quell fears the public might have about the NEXUS compressor station in Guilford Township.

She addressed Medina County commissioners Tuesday and said her office is willing and ready to face potential problems caused by the $2.1 billion natural gas line that will run through the county.

“The pipeline is definitely at the top of our radar because it is new and it’s a bone of contention for a lot of our residents,” Fozio said. “But we do have a broader focus than just the pipeline itself. We have a hazardous-materials team. It goes above and beyond what a traditional hazardous materials trainee would have.

“I am pretty confident that our fire departments in Medina County, as well as our Emergency Management team, are prepared for whatever can happen. There are already pipelines in the ground in Medina County. This is not new.”

Members of Sustainable Medina County spoke at a commissioners meeting last month about what they view as potential dangers of the compressor station.

Westfield Township Trustee Bill Thombs said at the November meeting that planning, training and other procedures need to be clear in case any problems arise. Compressor stations are being built every 70 miles to help push gas through the 255-mile pipeline.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency provides support and coordination assistance to first responders and prepare for natural, man-made or technological disasters, hazards or acts of terrorism.

Medina County Commissioner Adam Friedrick said the EMA is trained to combat myriad potential problems.

“If you get stuck in a grain silo, we have teams trained to do that or whatever other emergency that comes up,” he said Tuesday. “There are companies all over the county that use hazardous material. With all the hazmat, we have to know how to deal with that, as well.

“No one seems to care that we have tanker trains running through here with hydrochloric acid and some other things that are far more hazardous than what we see in pipeline drilling. Yet, that seems to be where all the attention is focused on.”

Fozio said her office has an all-encompassing plan.

“There are unknowns,” she said. “There are some things you can’t plan for. When I sit down with the (fire) chiefs in the county, we’re all pretty confident we’re going to do the absolute best that we can.”

She said she meets with county fire chiefs once a month.

Fozio has worked at the EMA since 2000.

“I’m a resident here,” she said. “My family lives here. My mom and dad live in Montville (Township). So I want to make sure I’m protected, that my family is protected, as well as the rest of residents. I’ve been here 18 years and I take it very seriously.”

While speaking at the commissioners meeting, Fozio plugged her office’s mass notification system. Residents can 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.

“What we want to do is to reach you,” Fozio said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a pipeline incident. It can be hazardous material. We can’t reach you if you are not in our database.”

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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