Decision on hotly-debated Duke Energy pipeline expected by summer

Decision draws near for Duke pipeline

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - While a group that opposes the proposed Duke Energy pipeline is campaigning to stop it, the company continues to prepare and plan for the project.

NOPE, or Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension, hosted a meeting Wednesday night in Evendale. They invited members of the community to come and learn about why they are strongly against the pipeline project, called the Central Corridor Pipeline Extension.

It is part of NOPE’s final push to petition the plans.

“We’ve had a lot of people go door-to-door. I just talked to somebody today, he said he knocked on 300 doors, and of course we’re on Facebook and getting the word out that way," said Jared Newman, with NOPE.

The natural gas transmission pipeline has been in the works for several years. Duke reps said that it is needed to make sure that local homes, schools and businesses are able to get gas.

“We’ve got equipment that is nearing the end of its usable life that we use on peak cold days that we really are ready to try and retire and decommission," said Sally Thelen, a Duke spokesperson.

There are two possible routes for the pipeline. Both would run near homes, schools and places of worship. People at Wednesday’s NOPE meeting said they are not happy with either option.

They believe the pipeline would be dangerous and could even cause an explosion.

“I feel like now that this is a time bomb being placed in front of my house, feet from my living room and my bedroom," said Justin Feldman, a Reading resident.

A Duke spokesperson said they are confident the pipeline is a safe solution and said pipelines like the one on the table already exist.

“We have over 200 miles that we operate currently," said Thelen. "Many of which run by education institutions, schools, hospitals, places of worship. You just don’t see them.”

A public hearing is set for March 21 at 3 p.m. at U.C’s Blue Ash Muntz Hall at 9555 Plainfield Road in Blue Ash.

On April 9, an evidentiary hearing will take place in Columbus.

The Ohio Power Siting Board is expected to make a decision by late summer or early fall.

Copyright 2019 WXIX. All rights reserved.