Pipeline comments sought

Published 9:41 am Saturday, May 25, 2019

PEDRO — The U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are asking the public  for input on the proposed Buckeye Xpress Project natural gas pipeline, part of which would go through Lawrence County and the Wayne National Forest.

The project proposed by Columbia Gas involves 66.1 miles in southeast Ohio, including approximately 12.6 miles of pipeline construction and approximately 10.2 miles of pipeline decommissioning in the Wayne National Forest Ironton Ranger District.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public release of an Environmental Assessment for the project begins a 30-day comment period today.

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“The Forest Service plays an important role in ensuring critical energy projects are implemented responsibly and with concern for our natural resources,” said Carleen Yocum, acting Wayne National Forest Supervisor. “Public input is an essential part of ensuring this project meets conservation needs, while meeting domestic energy demands.”

Columbia Gas’s proposed project is to construct 66.1 miles of new 36-inch diameter natural gas pipeline, replacing and expanding existing pipelines and related facilities in parts of Lawrence, Vinton, Gallia, and Jackson counties. Columbia Gas holds private easement rights for most of the route through the Wayne National Forest, but the Forest Service retains decision authority for issuing a Special Use Permit for 4.1 miles of the route. Additionally, the Forest Service is considering alternatives for the pipeline to be decommissioned that include removal and leaving portions in place where removal could result in greater environmental impacts.  The Forest Service will prepare a separate Decision Notice for the authorization of a Special Use Permit after issuance of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Final Order.

Comments on the Forest Service decision for the project should be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process and specifically reference the Wayne National Forest in the content so that those comments can be directed to the Forest Service for review and consideration.

Comments on the proposed Buckeye Xpress Project may be submitted online at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. Comments may also be submitted by mail to Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. Comments must reference docket number CP18–137–000 in the submission and must be filed or postmarked within the 30-day comment period, which ends on June 18.