Property owners concerned about proposed pipeline

The proposed pipeline would run through 8 northwest Ohio municipalities, affecting more than 40 properties

Dozens of property owners are raising concerns about a proposed new pipeline that would cut across eight different northwest Ohio municipalities.

Columbus-based North Coast Gas Transmission is currently seeking state approval to build a 22-mile long, two feet diameter pipeline that would run underground. The Oregon Lateral Pipeline would start in Maumee, then cross the Maumee River and run through Perrysburg, Perrysburg Township, Lake Township, Rossford, Walbridge, Northwood, and end in Oregon. The pipeline would be used to supply the Oregon Clean Energy Center, a brand new $800 million natural gas power plant that will be built in the next two to three years.

Approximately 40 to 50 property owners would be impacted by the new pipeline, though the exact placement of that line is still being determined. The pipeline would require a 75 foot easement during construction, and a 50 foot permanent easement after the pipeline is built, which can impact property values and forbids any substantial development where the easement is in place.

Many of the impacted property owners turned out to a meeting Wednesday night in Perrysburg, hosted by two eminent domain attorneys from Columbus that specialize in pipeline cases. Attorneys Michael Braunstein and William Goldman told concerned property owners that there is little they can do to stop the pipeline, because pipeline companies can use the power of eminent domain to acquire the needed property. But they encouraged the landowners to seek counsel, either through their firm or with another lawyer with a background in pipelines.

Braunstein told NBC 24 before the meeting that having an attorney will assure the landowners receive proper compensation for the use of their land and change in property value, and to make sure that their land is restored after construction is complete.

Perrysburg farmer Paul Swartz attended the meeting. He says the proposed pipeline would cut right through his farmland.

â??It'll affect the drainage on the farmland. It will affect the yield that we get off the land where they've compacted the soil to put the pipeline in. And it will decrease the value for any potential development on that land," according to Swartz.

North Coast Gas Transmission is currently awaiting approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board, with a decision expected by mid-December. If the project is approved, they will begin their negotiations with the affected landowners. Construction of the pipeline is tentatively set to begin sometime next year, with completion in 2016.
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