Officials confirm pipeline location along Ohio-Pa. line
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By Ashley Luthern
Township officials confirmed Wednesday that Springfield is the preferred site for a 24-inch underground natural-gas pipeline that would come from Pennsylvania and travel south, roughly following the state line.
Trustee Robert Orr said he and Road Superintendent Richard Kennedy met with a representative of NiSource Midstream Services LLC to learn more about the company’s plans in the township, which include a pumping plant that would create 15 to 20 permanent jobs.
“We received calls from residents asking questions about a pipeline, and until recently when we sat down with NiSource officials, we didn’t have any information to tell them,” Orr said.
NiSource Midstream Services is a subsidiary of NiSource, an Indiana-based company that focuses on natural-gas and electrical transmission, storage and distribution.
In July, NiSource announced a joint venture with affiliates of Hilcorp Energy Co. to construct a new gathering pipeline infrastructure, with the first phase being construction of 50 miles of pipeline in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
At last week’s shale expo in Youngstown, John Bonn, president of NiSource Midstream Services, said the total investment in new infrastructure to help deliver Ohio Utica shale gas to markets would be between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.
The company officials “were very open and community-friendly. They don’t want people to be scared of it,” Kennedy said.
Orr said surveyors have been in the township for a few weeks, asking residents for permission to survey their property. A list of those going door-to-door was provided by the company, but no solicitor’s permit is needed. That type of permitting usually is handled by a zoning office, but Springfield Township does not have zoning.
“If residents agree to let someone survey it does not mean they have given permission for the pipeline. The survey is not giving away their property rights,” Orr said.
Once the surveying is completed, the company will determine routing, negotiate agreements with property owners and conduct an environmental assessment, Orr said.
The township is home to four Tennessee Gas and two Dominion East Ohio transmission lines.