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Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services Blog on the Buckeye XPress Pipeline of Wayne National Forest

June 25, 2019

On June 19, 2019, Fair Shake moved to intervene in a pipeline application proposed between Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), on behalf of our clients FreshWater Accountability Project (FreshWater) and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC). Columbia applied for approval from FERC for the Buckeye XPress Project to install a new pipeline to replace an existing one and to abandon another old pipeline. This pipeline is proposed to be 66.1-miles long and run through Vinton, Jackson, Gallia, and Lawrence Counties, Ohio and Wayne County, West Virginia, including running through Wayne National Forest.

The scale of extractive industry and proposed petrochemical development in the Ohio Appalachian Basin compels us support the environmental stewards, like OVEC and FreshWater, on the front-lines of the global environmental battles of our time. With the motion to intervene in the matter, available here, FreshWater and OVEC are able to voice the concerns of the communities effected in the Ohio Valley. They have also formally requested a public hearing and participation process which allows for parties to make their case to FERC for any adverse environmental impacts which they believe outweigh the public benefit.

FreshWater works to protect fresh water supplies through advocacy, legal action, and education. OVEC is dedicated to improving and preserving the environment through education, organizing, and coalition building. Both organizations have members who live, work in, and recreate in the areas the Buckeye XPress project is proposed to run through. The project threatens public health and comes against safety concerns such as explosions and leaks in the pipes, surface and groundwater contamination, and erosion and landslides. It also will increase the threat of climate change by releasing carbon dioxide into the air.

Fair Shake also joined with other intervenors – including Ohio Environmental Council, Center for Biological Diversity, and Sierra Club – to voice these concerns on behalf of our clients and submitted a public comment regarding the Environmental Assessment FERC completed on the project. Other than the concerns listed above, the comment also noted FreshWater’s and OVEC’s concerns with how the project would impact Wayne National Forest and hurt the surrounding wildlife and environment. Wayne National Forest is the only national forest in Ohio. This project would impact FreshWater’s and OVEC’s members ability recreate in the National Forest, and to live, work, worship, and own property in the surrounding areas. Fair Shake is committed to tirelessly advocating for our clients’ concerns. Check back for updates as this matter continues.

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