In response to numerous requests for additional time to review the NEXUS Gas Transmission 401 water quality certification, Ohio EPA has extended the comment period until the close of business on Oct. 31, 2016.
Along with the public notices that appeared in newspapers in August, Ohio EPA sent advisories to more than 1,000 citizens who requested to be included on the list of interested parties. The advisories included a link to the NEXUS application along with information about the open comment period and an Oct. 19 public meeting at Elyria High School. The meeting included an information session during which Ohio EPA presented details and answered questions related to the proposed pipeline. The Agency also accepted verbal and written comments during the public hearing that followed.
The application has been made by NEXUS Gas Transmission for a 401 water quality certification to install a 36-inch, 209-mile pipeline from Columbiana County to Fulton County to move natural gas produced in the Marcellus and Utica shale areas. Discharges from the proposed project would have a potential to affect the quality of streams and wetlands in the following watersheds: Upper Ohio, Tuscarawas, Mahoning, Cedar-Portage, Lower Maumee, Ottawa-Stony, Black-Rocky, Huron-Vermilion and Sandusky.
The proposed project may result in a change from current water quality conditions, but cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment. Ohio EPA will consider technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project before deciding whether to issue or deny a water quality certification. Copies of the application and technical support information are available for review on Ohio EPA’s website or by calling (614) 644-2001.
Anyone planning to discharge, dredge or use fill material in a way that impacts waters of the state must first obtain a water quality certification from Ohio EPA and a permit from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ohio EPA reviews the project to ensure it will comply with Ohio’s water quality standards. Ohio EPA values public comment. All interested parties are welcome to comment on the project.
Written comments are considered equally with the oral testimony that was presented at the Oct. 19 hearing. Written comments must now be received by close of business Oct. 31, 2016, and should be mailed to Ohio EPA – DSW, Attention: Permits Processing Unit; Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.