Duke Energy is delaying its controversial natural gas pipeline project and will extend the review process to find the "best possible plan with the least impact," the company announced Wednesday.
The proposed Central Corridor Pipeline Extension included a 30-inch steel gas line running underground from the northern boundary of Hamilton County near the intersection of Hamilton, Warren and Butler counties to the Norwood Station or Red Bank Road area south of Erie Ave. It was expected to be about 12 miles long.
Residents voiced concerns about the scale of the project as well as the possible negative consequences it could have on their community.
Duke said they've received more than 1,300 comments about the project. They plan to meet with community leaders, elected officials and neighbors for further address concerns.
"Our goal is to have the best possible plan with the least impact on property owners, the environment and the communities we serve," said Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky.
A group calling themselves NOPE, or Neighbors Opposed to Pipeline Expansion, have been outspoken with concerns about the project. They say the routes go through highly populated areas by homes, schools, daycares, hospitals and churches. The most common concern is one of safety.
"If there was a failure with this pipeline it would be devastating to our communities,” said Elizabeth Rueve-Miller, who lives near one of the proposed routes for the line.
Depending on the route, the initial pipeline plan could have run through Norwood, Golf Manor, Amberley Village, Reading, Evendale, Blue Ash, Sycamore Township, Montgomery, Madeira and Fairfax.
"The job for the Duke Energy team is to provide answers to as many concerns as we can,” Henning said. “That includes looking at all potential routes of the proposed natural gas pipeline, while balancing the need for replacing aging infrastructure, increasing the reliability of our natural gas supply, and meeting the future energy needs of all of our natural gas customers."
The Central Corridor Pipeline Extension is part of Duke Energy’s long-term plan to improve reliability for its natural gas delivery system in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
They say the proposed pipeline is necessary in order to meet future demands of natural gas and avoid energy brownouts.
Duke Energy plans to submit two proposed routes to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) later this summer for consideration.
For more information about the Central Corridor Transmission Pipeline Extension, see the company's website.