Ohio EPA issues Water Quality Certification for NEXUS pipeline

Staff Report

The Ohio EPA has issued a Water Quality Certification for the Nexus pipeline to be built in Fulton, Lucas, Henry, Wood, Columbiana, Stark, Summit, Wayne, Medina, Lorain, Huron, Erie, and Sandusky counties. The certification came after lengthy and careful review and consideration to ensure this pipeline project complies with Ohio law and is protective of the environment and public health, according to the EPA.

Anyone planning to discharge, dredge or use fill material in a way that results in the placement of fill into waters of the state must first obtain a permit from U.S Army Corps of Engineers which must be certified with a Water Quality Certification (commonly known as a 401) from Ohio EPA. The project would have the 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.

For many months, Ohio EPA considered technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the project, held an information session and public hearing on the application, and received and reviewed public input throughout an initial and extended comment period.

Although the project may result in a change from current water quality conditions, the changes cannot violate Ohio’s water quality standards that protect human health and the environment.

In addition, Ohio EPA is requiring NEXUS to have and implement very detailed contingency plans for managing unanticipated releases to the environment, such as inadvertent returns, and a storm water pollution prevention plan to manage possible storm-water-related impacts to the environment.

A copy of the certification along with public comments and responses may be viewed online: epa.ohio.gov/pic/respond.aspx The Water Quality Certification can be appealed to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC). Appeals generally must be filed within 30 days of issuing a final action; anyone considering filing an appeal should contact ERAC at 614-466-8950 for more information.

Staff Report