Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Medina Judge Stands Down NEXUS Pipeline Surveyors' Requests to Enter Private Property

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 3:32 PM

We've been tracking the development of the NEXUS Pipeline in Ohio, wherein Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. is plotting a 36-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline that will run from the Marcellus and Utica plays in eastern Ohio up toward Canada. For our purposes, their land survey work is striking particularly close to home in locales like Medina, Grafton Township, etc.

So far, it seems that most landowners have accommodated the survey work — but, in line with a vocal backlash against the pipeline project, not everyone is onboard. 

Last week, a temporary restraining order against several property owners came before Medina County Judge Christopher Collier. The NEXUS reps sought "declaratory judgment that [they have] the right to enter onto the Defendants' property to conduct survey activities." In this case, after one defendant dropped out, the named defendants are Donald Houston, Adele Borling, Donald Borling and Dorothy Morris. 

"While many landowners have granted permission to NEXUS, many have not," Collier's July 15 journal entry states. Permission to survey land in the path of the pipeline is required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. NEXUS maintains that they have a "statutory right" to enter properties in their path. The Medina County prosecutor has stated on record that NEXUS "should be considered a trespasser if it attempts to enter property without permission."

Despite NEXUS reps claiming that any delay in their work will result in missing the Nov. 1, 2017, operations deadline, Collier stated that that does not meet the court's threshold of "irreparable harm."

Collier did not grant the temporary restraining order against the property owners.  

As such, the matter of NEXUS entering land owned by the defendants in this case will go to a trial currently scheduled for Sept. 24.

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