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Pipeline study finds no significant impact on forest: Columbia Gas would replace natural gas lines in Wayne National Forest

An objection period has opened for a proposed pipeline replacement through Wayne National Forest.

Called Buckeye Xpress Project, it would Columbia Gas’s 20-inch natural gas lines in southeast Ohio with 36-inch gas lines. The project includes approximately 12.6 miles of pipeline construction and approximately 10.2 miles of pipeline decommissioning in the Wayne National Forest Ironton Ranger District.

On Monday, the USDA Forest Service’s Eastern Region Acting Regional Forester Robert Lueckel has released a draft decision notice that the pipeline would have no significant impact on the forest, based on an environmental assessment done by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

“The intended decision is for lands subject to issuance of a special use permit (SUP) and authorizes Columbia to occupy NFS lands for 4.1 miles (about 88 acres) of the R-801 which cross the WNF’s Ironton Ranger District in Gallia and Lawrence Counties, Ohio. The R-801would also affect 8.5 miles (about 157 acres) of easement lands,” Lueckel said.

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.

Objections may be submitted by electronically through an on-line submission form (https://cara.ecosvstem-management.org/Public//Commentlnput?project=54536).

Objections can be mailed to USDA Forest Service, ATTN: Objection Reviewing Officer, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Mailstop 1104, Washington, DC 20250.

Objects must be sent by sent by Sept. 24.