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Commissioners discuss pipeline

By SARA KLEINMr. Thrifty Staff Writer Published: September 23, 2015 4:00 AM

The proposed 711-mile Rover Pipeline, a portion of which would run along the western border of Carroll County, was the focus of discussion at the Sept. 21 meeting of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.

Mark Stanley, a representative of AECOM, appeared before the board with packets of information regarding the pipeline project and answered commissioners' questions.

Stanley said Rover Pipeline LLC has hired AECOM to distribute information about the project as part of its efforts "to get the support of the community."

According to information Stanley provided, the $4.2 billion pipeline would transport 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from Marcellus and Utica shale production regions in West Virginia, Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania to U.S. markets as well as to the Union Gas Dawn Storage Hub in Ontario, Canada.

"The purpose of this pipeline is to collect and distribute natural gas within the Marcellus and Utica shale plays and get it into distribution in the northeast, get it fractionated, and turn it around back. It's basically for energy consumption," Stanley said, adding that natural gas processed at the Dawn Hub in Canada would return to Michigan.

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Eighty percent of the main transmission line would be located under agricultural land using pipeline of various widths, including 42-inch pipelines, buried approximately four to five feet below the ground, according to information from Rover Pipeline LLC.

Stanley reported that Rover Pipeline LLC anticipates that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is currently reviewing its proposal for the pipeline, will issue a certificate in November or December of this year permitting the construction process to take place.

Construction of the project, if the FERC approves it, would begin in early 2016 and be completed by early 2017 with full service along the pipeline scheduled to take place by the summer of 2017.

According to information Stanley presented at the meeting, the project would bring $135 million in ad valorem tax to the state of Ohio, $10 million of which would go to Carroll County, although Stanley said the tax would depreciate by one or two percent each year.

Tax revenue from the project would be received in the 2018 tax year and be collectible in 2019, said Stanley.

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The creation of jobs from the project was one topic that commissioners discussed with Stanley, who stated that "jobs are a big portion" of why the project "is a big deal" for Carroll County.

Rover Pipeline reported in materials Stanley provided to the board that the peak construction force for the project would amount to 14,225 jobs, although long-term employment created by the pipeline would amount to 38 positions for the entire length of the pipeline.

These long-term positions would be responsible for running a total of 10 mainline, market compressor and lateral line compressor stations located along the pipeline as well as for maintaining the pipeline itself.

Of those 38 permanent employees, Carroll County would see from three to 9 positions created for the compressor station it will host.

The reactions of landowners, particularly those located in areas where construction of the pipeline has been proposed, was also discussed.

In response to a question from Commissioner Tom White, Stanley said some landowners have expressed concern about the effects that a pipeline buried under their farmland might have on the crop yield of their acreage as well as concern about damage that could be caused by the construction process.

Information that Stanley provided from Rover Pipeline LLC states that "top soil will be segregated during construction to protect the top soil and future crop production capabilities."

Based on questions from the press, discussion also took place regarding Rover Pipeline's public relations efforts in tandem with concerns from and legal actions involving landowners who would not allow survey crews associated with the Rover Pipeline project to access their land or who did not wish to give permission for their land to be used for the pipeline.

Stanley stated that he has not been involved in issues regarding lawsuits and that he did not think such issues were present in Carroll County or the other four counties he is visiting.

White asked if Rover Pipeline has acquired all of its right-of-ways for the project. Stanley stated he believes that not all right-of-ways have been acquired.

Discussion also took place regarding providing information about the Rover Pipeline to Carroll County's township trustees, whom Stanley said he had not yet met but planned to meet.

In other business, the board:

ANNOUNCED that the Board of Commissioners' Office will be closed this Friday, Sept. 25, to allow the office's clerks to attend a professional conference in Columbus, Ohio.

LEARNED that the County Dog Pound report for Sept. 14 to Sept. 19 showed nine dogs impounded, seven adopted, two redeemed, none euthanized, no citations for no license and no citations for running at large.

ANNOUNCED the county has received a Community Housing Improvement Program grant of $400,000 through Oct. 2017. The grant can be used to fund the private rehabilitation and modernization of low-income homes. Applications for assistance are anticipated to be available from the commissioners' office next month.

APPROVED Scott Lanigan, director of Internal Environmental Health with the Carroll County General Health District, to sign a grant application for $300,000 from the Ohio EPA's Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. The funds could be used to help upgrade sewage systems in households that are at 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

APPROVED a request for additional services from Civil and Environmental Consultants (CEC) in the amount of $7,350 to address unanticipated Ohio EPA comments regarding the Chase Road landfill.


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