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Area residents opposed to NEXUS compressor plan – Waterville, Ohio

Area residents opposed to NEXUS compressor plan – Waterville, Ohio

Crowd packs meeting on proposed Waterville facility

A boisterous crowd of nearly 600 packed the Waterville Primary Community Room on Wednesday night for a state environmental hearing on the compressor station NEXUS Gas Transmission wants to build in Waterville Township along Moosman Drive, south of Neapolis Waterville Road.

Emilie Judy, with a sign showing her opposition to the proposed compressor station, reads Environmental Protection Agency information on the NEXUS pipe-line during an EPA public meeting at Waterville Primary School in Waterville. Emilie Judy, with a sign showing her opposition to the proposed compressor station, reads Environmental Protection Agency information on the NEXUS pipe-line during an EPA public meeting at Waterville Primary School in Waterville.
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All 450 seats were taken and well over 100 people stood in the back and along the sides of the room, which has a 680-person capacity. Nearly all available street parking within a half-mile was taken.

“We are kind of pushing the comfort of the fire marshal with the large crowd we have tonight,” the hearing moderator, Mike Settles, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency public involvement coordinator, said as he asked people to find seats when they became available.

The agency didn’t initially plan a hearing in this area, then agreed to have one after learning of the high demand for one.

The first to testify, Jim Fritz, Anthony Wayne Schools superintendent, told state and local regulators the proposed site is unacceptably close to five of the district’s six buildings, 4,000 students, and 300 staff members.

“We are concerned not only about the average amount of emissions per year, but also the peak emissions,” Mr. Fritz said.

He and others cited complaints of burning lungs, nausea, headaches, sore throats, chronic dizziness, body pain, cancer, and other health problems associated with residents who live near compressor stations.

One person who claimed to be a victim, Barry Booth, said he lives 1.5 miles from a compressor station in Carroll County, and he and his wife, Mary, drove five hours to testify.

He said gases have been so strong, you sometimes find yourself “lying on your living room floor, puking, with snot coming out of your nose.”

“These are not odors. They are volatile gases that are going to kill you, eventually,” according to Mr. Booth, whose testimony got a standing ovation from the crowd.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken got loud applause when he talked about a resolution he and other commissioners passed in opposition to the proposed site during Tuesday’s board meeting.

“This is what, to me, democracy looks like,” Mr. Gerken said while sizing up the audience. “We are not against clean, safe natural gas energy, as long as it’s placed in our society’s rules.”

The hearing was limited to air emissions, the only aspect of the project the Ohio EPA regulates — not the explosive risk of the compressor station or the pipeline itself, Mr. Settles said.

Several speakers said they are worried about exposure to formaldehyde, benzene, methane, carbon dioxide, and other pollutants they expect to become airborne in the Waterville-Whitehouse area if the compressor station is built at the proposed location.

“Why must this compressor station be located here?” Karen Schneider, Waterville Township trustee, asked.

NEXUS wants to build the compressor station to help move natural gas along a 255-mile pipeline it wants to build. It ultimately wants to send natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale regions of eastern Ohio and West Virginia to markets in Ohio, Michigan, and Canada.

So many residents wanted to speak that Mr. Settles said he wasn’t sure if the Ohio EPA could get them all in during its allotted 3½ hours. A nearby teacher’s lounge was opened as an auxiliary site for residents to give testimony.

Nobody in the audience identified himself or herself as a NEXUS spokesman. The company has said in past interviews it will consider all objections that are raised before making a final decision.

Contact Tom Henry at:, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.


Source: Toledo Blade




From the Township:

This map shows an estimated pathway for the Nexus Gas Transmission Pipeline through Lucas County, including two sites being investigated for a proposed compressor station (marked with stars).

This map shows an estimated pathway for the Nexus Gas Transmission Pipeline through Lucas County, including two sites being investigated for a proposed compressor station (marked with stars).








Nexus Pipeline Compressor Station:

Waterville Township has been identified as one of four locations for a compressor station for the Nexus gas pipeline. The targeted completion date for the pipeline is 2017 and the Trustees continue to work to mitigate the impact of the compressor station to our residents. This is an on-going process and if there are any questions, please contact the Trustees.

FOR RELEASE: February 17, 2016
CONTACT: Mike Settles (614) 644-2160

Ohio EPA to Hold Public Meeting, Receive Comments Concerning
Draft Air Permit for Proposed Waterville Compressor Station

Ohio EPA will hold an information session and public hearing on March 16, 2016, about a draft air permit for a proposed compressor station that would be located off of Moosman Drive (south of Neapolis Waterville Road) and is intended to facilitate delivery of natural gas along the Nexus Gas Transmission (NGT) pipeline.

The March 16 meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Waterville Primary Community Room, 457 Sycamore Lane, Waterville. Ohio EPA will begin with an information session including questions and answers, after which the Agency will open an official hearing so members of the public can submit comments for the record concerning the draft permit.

If approved, the draft permit would allow the installation and operation of equipment associated with the compressor station, which produces air emissions.

Before issuing the draft air permit-to-install-and-operate, Ohio EPA reviewed the company’s application to ensure that emissions would comply with federal and state air pollution control standards, laws and regulations.

If the permit is approved, Nexus’ total maximum air emissions would not be allowed to exceed levels that protect public health and the environment. This permit would allow emissions up to 7.81 tons per year of carbon monoxide, 31.08 tons per year of nitrogen oxides, 6.24 tons per year of particulate, 3.24 tons per year of sulfur dioxide and 30.8 tons per year of volatile organic compounds.

Ohio EPA does not have regulatory authority over issues such as: siting; eminent domain; setbacks to homes, schools and businesses; noise levels; traffic; zoning; pipeline safety; or impacts on property values. An Ohio EPA factsheet detailing the Agency’s role in issuing air permits and considerations related to natural gas compressor station emissions can be viewed on the Agency website:

Interested parties may review the draft permit online at:

Related comments must be received by the close of business on March 21 and should be mailed to: Matthew Stanfield, Toledo Department of Environmental Services, 348 South Erie Street, Toledo, OH 43604; or sent via email:


From 13abc:

I-Team Investigation: The Unknown Underground

WATERVILLE (13abc Action News) – Some people in our community say they’re afraid, worried about their health and safety because of something that could be built in Northwest Ohio.

You may have heard of the Nexus pipeline. It will transport natural gas. But the I-Team found another part of the project some neighbors say could destroy a thriving area.

The Nexus pipeline starts in Eastern Ohio and goes across the state. It’s scheduled to run though Erie, Sandusky, Wood, Fulton, Lucas and Henry counties before it moves north into Lenawee and Monroe county before eventually linking up with the pipeline through Canada.

The issue people near Waterville have is something called a compressor station. It pushes natural gas along the line.

If it’s approved as planned, it would be on a piece of land that sits next to U-S 24 near Waterville. As proposed, it’s located about half a mile from land owned by Stacy Owen.

“I have 2 kids with a third on the way. I’m thinking family. How’s this going to happen? How are my kids going to be affected, that kind of thing,” said Owen.

Owen’s spearheaded a group fighting this compression station and making sure people know what it would mean to the area.

“I either have to do something or I’m just going to have to deal with it I guess and I decided I have to do something,” said Owen.

Documents filed by the pipeline operators say the compressor station will house a 26,000 horse power compressor unit, oil coolers, and exhaust and air intake system. Those documents say the cost will be over $83 million.

“You feel like it’s David and Goliath. We’ve got stones and sling shots and they have legal teams and a lot of money,” said Waterville resident Deb Swingholm.

“It’s frustrating, embarrassing, infuriating that you ask questions and no one will give you an answer. And there’s no one that you can go to to make them, the operators, give you an answer,” said Rick Kazmierczak, Swancreek Township trustee.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, has the final say. That commission is currently taking public input, preparing an environmental impact survey. Opponents think the compressor station’s impact will be huge.

If there’s an accident, who would be impacted? Some say far more than regulations would have you believe. The I-Team learned that the US Department of Transportation calculates a potential impact radius.

When you use the DOT formula, the impact radius around this pipeline and compression station is 943 feet. But in Defiance late year, when a pipeline ruptured authorities evacuated a ¾ mile radius. That’s about 4 times the radius for a pipeline smaller than would be coming through this compression station.

So what’s in the radius around this one? Within a 3 mile radius you find homes, farms, Waterville and about 4000 Anthony Wayne students and staff members.

“We’re concerned that the public knows about what’s actually coming out of there. We’re concerned for the students and staff in our school buildings,” said Jim Fritz, Anthony Wayne Schools Superintendent.

Superintendent Fritz worries about accidents and daily emissions.

“There’s still a lot of unknown. I think that’s where the citizens of our area need to ask questions,” said Fritz.

The area has certainly seen change. For example the construction of new US 24. Opponents of this station say they understand growth, they understand the idea of energy independence but they say it doesn’t make any sense to put this station in a part of Lucas County that for the last 10 years has actually been growing.

So what does Nexus say about its compression station? They’d only send the I-Team a statement.

When it comes to air quality the company says air quality impacts “will be minimized by the use of equipment, emission controls and operating practices that meet or exceed best available technology.”
Nexus also says the compression unit will be installed in an acoustically insulated building.

“We can do it smarter and we can affect less people. The bottom line is, no matter where we put it someone will be affected,” added Kazmierczak.

Which gets the opponents to an obvious questions. If it doesn’t go in their backyard, wouldn’t it just go in someone else’s backyard? If the federal regulators don’t like the Waterville location, the answer is yes.

“But at least I could look at individual straight in the face and say instead of affecting 100 people now we’re only affecting two and I’m sorry it has to be you but the greater good is served by moving it to a more rural type area,” said Kazmierczak. “It’s a terrible situation to be in when you have to choose between two poorer options but at least the common sense option is to get it out of a highly developed area and move it to a less developed area.”

The opponents are also asking about the Lake Erie algae bloom. Digging the pipeline will mean crews will have to dewater where the water table is high. So they’ll be taking water out of the ground to put the pipeline in. But when the water goes out will it go out over farm fields, what nutrients will be running off into stream, rivers and eventually into Lake Erie? How will that affect the algae bloom? No one knows, another reason opponents don’t want the pipeline in the first place.

Right now the Ohio EPA is taking public comment to see if they will hold a public hearing on the compression station. That period ends in a few days. So if you’d like to weigh in, you need to now.
The federal government will put out that draft environmental study in the next few months. That’s when the public can weigh in further before a final decision is made.

To contact the Ohio EPA about a compressor station public hearing:
Call the Ohio EPA Public Interest Center at (614) 644-2160

To make general comments contact Matthew Stanfield, Toledo Department of Environmental Services, 348 South Erie Street, Toledo, OH 43604. Or email: by the close of business on February 16, 2016.

Full statements from Nexus to 13abc:
Compressor stations are necessary along the pipeline to give the gas a boost. Over distance, friction and geographic elevation differences slow the gas and reduce the pressure. Compressor stations are highly regulated facilities and integrate a variety of safety systems and practices to protect the public and station employees and property. All NEXUS compressor stations will be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by highly trained and experienced personnel who operate and maintain the station equipment and pipelines.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the state environmental agencies, strictly regulate compressor station emissions. Federal and state ambient air quality standards are promulgated to protect the public health, welfare and environment by limiting the levels of pollutants that can occur in the outside air. Additionally, the turbines that drive the NEXUS gas compressors will be equipped with low emission technology and fueled by clean burning natural gas. They will be designed to achieve a NOx emission rate lower than what is required by federal and state regulation.

Location criteria for compressor stations are determined by a number of factors that include stakeholder considerations, engineering design, geographic suitability, environmental resource impacts and constructible terrain. The proposed Waterville Compressor Station in Waterville Township is west of the City of Waterville, Ohio and approximately 2.5 miles southeast of Whitehouse, Ohio. However, as part of its environmental review, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will make the final decision as to the compressor station location.

Currently, the Waterville Compressor Station will consist of 1 Solar Titan 250 natural gas turbine compressor unit and gas cooling that will serve the compressor station. The turbine compressor unit will be installed inside an acoustically-insulated building. Air quality impacts from operation of the Waterville Compressor Station will be minimized by the use of equipment, emissions controls, and operating practices that meet or exceed Best Available Technology. NEXUS will continue to evaluate noise control measures to be implemented at each new compressor station for the Project through detailed design of the facilities.

Potential impacts on groundwater resources will be avoided or minimized by the use of both standard and specialized pipeline construction techniques. Dewatering of the pipeline trench, the only activity requiring pumping of groundwater, may be necessary in areas where there is a high water table. However, phased pipeline construction activities within a particular location are typically completed within several days, and any lowering of localized groundwater from pumping and dewatering will be temporary. The construction and operations of the NEXUS Project will not alter the permeability or functionality of the Oak Openings aquifer.

I would like to direct you to the Resource Reports filed with FERC, which are available online and show, among other things, the locations and descriptions of Project facilities; the land requirements associated with facility construction and operation; proposed construction procedures; operation and maintenance procedures; emissions and air quality; and economic impact. You can view these detailed reports which provide extensive information about the project at: or on the FERC website by using the docket number for the project CP16-22.

The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) governs the design and operation of interstate facilities. According to the US DOT, interstate pipelines are the safest mode transportation for natural gas. Moreover, NEXUS Gas Transmission is dedicated to the safe, reliable operation of facilities and the protection of employees, the public and the environment.

The NEXUS pipeline and associated aboveground facilities will be designed, constructed, maintained and operated to meet or exceed the safety requirements exclusively governed by the USDOT. Pipelines and related facilities are designed and maintained with strict adherence to USDOT standards to ensure public safety and reliability. Once the facilities are placed in service, NEXUS will implement operation procedures designed to monitor the pipeline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365-days-a-year.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the lead federal agency on the construction of pipelines, researched pipelines effect on property values and reported the results in an Environmental Impact Statement issued in October, 2014 (FERC Docket No. CP13-499-000, pages 4-152 to 4-156). The Environmental Impact Statement found that there was no pipeline-related impact on property value.

I have also attached a rendering of a compressor station. For more information please visit where you can view fact sheets, review frequently asked questions and view a video that describes how compressor stations work.

The links below will direct you to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) website. I’ve included the safety stats from the PHMSA website below.

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