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Duke Pipeline updates from NOPE!
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Dear NOPE Community

Below are important updates and next steps from NOPE re: Duke's Central Corridor Pipeline Application.  Please share this information through your social communication channels so everyone in our affected communities is up to speed on what is happening.
Ignoring facts, safety concerns and unprecedented opposition, OPSB Approves Duke's Pipeline

On Thursday, November 21st, the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) voted to approve Duke's Central Corridor Pipeline Application.  OPSB followed Staff recommendations, deciding on Duke's "alternate route", also referred to as the Green Line.  This route runs through the following communities/municipalities: Sycamore Township, Blue Ash, Evendale, Reading, Golf Manor, Cincinnati, and Norwood. (see map)

After a 3 year battle against this unnecessary, irresponsible high pressure pipeline, OPSB's decision is very disappointing news for residents and businesses in Hamilton County.  The $180+ million price tag will be forced upon all ratepayers in Southwest Ohio. 

The Central Corridor Pipeline is the precursor to upgrades of  existing transmission lines in much of Duke's Ohio distribution system.  Even if the Central Corridor Pipeline is not running through your community, it's pretty likely that a similar pipeline is being planned for where you live, work, worship or play. Duke can now go forward with plans to replace existing pipelines which operate at 100-150 psi, with new 500 psi pipelines.  NOTE: Since these changes are to existing infrastructure, Duke will not have to go through an application process to make these changes.

The damage to our environmental assets, threats to the safety of our children and families and burdens to local municipalities and businesses will last for decades. 

It is absurd that people in Southwest Ohio must bear the burdens of this ill-conceived and dangerous project, with very little benefit.  At the same time, Duke is guaranteed a hefty rate of return for each dollar absconded from ratepayers to fund the Central Corridor Pipeline and expansions to their existing system.
NOPE and Intervenors Win Concessions

The OPSB provided 41 stipulations as part of their approval of Duke's application. (see OPSB Opinion)  The most significant stipulation is requiring Duke to construct and maintain Duke's Central Corridor Pipeline, according to higher safety standards than Duke was proposing.  Recall, despite the unusual decision to build their pipeline through densely populated, High Conequence Areas, Duke did not want to utilize the more stringent safety standards imposed upon similar pipelines.  This is definitely a win for our NOPE Community and Intervenors!

The OPSB also included stipulations to reduce inconvenience to residents and businesses during the construction process.  More interaction with municipalities could facilitate better planning and less disruption.  Also, the OPSB set some additional environmental requirements, including managing work around the Pristine Environmental Superfund Site.

 
What Happens Next?

It is not over yet. 

Intervenors and Duke have 30 days to respond to the OPSB Ruling.  Intervenors include: NOPE, Amberley, Hamilton County, Blue Ash, Cincinnati, Columbia Township, Deer Park, Evendale, Golf Manor, Madeira, Reading, Sycamore Township, as well as a few businesses.


NOPE members and our attorney, Emily Collins at FairShake Environmental Legal Services, are reviewing the OPSB Opinion, Order and Certificates to determine how to respond to OPSB's Ruling. Municipal intervenors are in the process of completing a similar assessment. Intervenors have 30 days to flle a Motion for Review with OPSB.  Following that OPSB review, Intervenors have 60 days to file for appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court. 
 
Once we have determined the most impactful strategy, we will be reaching out to the NOPE Community with more information as well as requests for financial support.
We Are Thankful...
NOPE is thankful for the elected officials who have dedicated resources and their own time to protect our communities.  Huge thanks to Cincinnati and Hamilton County for leading the interjurisdictional coalition.  

Thank you to all the members of our NOPE community, who have contributed 1000's of volunteer hours, funding to support our legal intervention, and their own unique experience and talent to help our group achieve its goals.  Your 3 years of dedication to protect our communities is greatly appreciated.  Please stay with us for the next challenging phase in the process!
Special Thanks To...
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who is leaving Public Office at the end of December.  Todd was the first elected official to stand up and say "NOPE" to Duke's pipeline.  He has given us his unwavering support backed by the substantial resources of Hamilton County for the past 3 years.  We are truly grateful to Todd and his dedication to Public Service!  Best wishes to Commissioner Portune from our NOPE Community!

NOPE Advocate Todd Portune
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