Duke Energy pipeline raising concerns for some Tri-State residents
BLUE ASH, OH (FOX19) - A planned natural gas pipeline construct project is raising serious concerns among some Tri-State residents.
Duke Energy held an informational open house at the Cooper Creek Event Center to detail the plan that has become contentious among some community members.
In a letter to residents to update them on the project that was sent last month says, "The project is designed to increase the reliability and dependability of our natural gas delivery system."
The project is 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 is expected to be about 12 miles long.
"This project is the extension of a pipeline that was completed in 2003 that safely provides natural gas transmission from cross-country pipelines to northern Hamilton County," the letter reads. "This new pipeline extension will provide additional natural gas supplies farther south to the central Cincinnati area."
But there is growing opposition to the plan.
"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.
A group calling themselves NOPE, or Neighbors Opposed to Pipeline Expansion, are raising concern 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.
"I think a pipeline of this size does not belong going through residential neighborhoods, next to schools, next to nursing homes, next to daycares," said Rueve-Miller.
Areas that could be affected by the pipeline are Blue Ash, Evendale, Reading, Kenwood, Madiera, Silverton, Deer Park, Golf Manor and others.
The pipeline is expected to cost around $100-$150 million.
"It's not just our street saying no to our backyard. It's our street saying no to any of the three routes," said Ron Friedman with NOPE.
Hundreds attended the open house to air out their concerns and bring their questions for Duke Energy officials.
"We want to hear from customers, neighbors, residents, businesses that would be potentially affected," said Duke Energy spokesperson Sally Thelen.
Right now, Duke Energy supplies gas to 500,000 customers in the area. They say the project will help with reliability of their gas supply, and will help update and modernize infrastructure.
"We operate over 250 miles of high-pressure gas lines. We have a very solid safety record as a company. We believe that we have the wherewithal to get this constructed in a safe manner," Thelen told FOX19 NOW.
Construction on the project could start in the summer of 2017 and would wrap up by the fall of 2018.
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