OPSB's Revised Staff Report ignores public pleas for safety and due diligence
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Hello NOPE Community!

This week we were utterly shocked by the Revised Report released by the Staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board.
The OPSB Report shows that it is more important than ever for community members speak up -- we encourage everyone to attend NOPE's Town Hall on March 13th and the Public Hearing on March 21st and demand more from OPSB and Duke. (details below)
OPSB Staff Report Ignores Public Pleas for Safety, Due Diligence
In their recently released report, the OPSB stated,
"Staff is aware of the high level of public interest in this project." 
Describing our concern for the safety of our families, neighbors and communities as a "high level of public interest" is insulting and seems like an attempt to minimize our very valid concerns about risk to human lives.  

if something were to happen along Duke's pipeline...

Real people could die.  Our children could become burned or badly injured.  Our homes, businesses and communities destroyed. 

Those concerns represent far more than a "high level of public interest".
The OPSB report states, 
"The comments received from members of the public and local officials served to inform the Staff throughout the course of its investigation."   

NOPE says,

In public petitions, letters and testimony we asked OPSB to do 2 things:
REQUEST #1: Conduct a thorough, independent evaluation of Duke's application in its entirety. Particular emphasis on whether Duke has adequately demonstrated need and whether their proposed pipeline is the most responsible, financially prudent and effective solution to address Duke's stated need. 
REQUEST #2:  Focus on human safety when considering Duke's application and case. Evaluate all alternatives for meeting Duke’s stated needs with safety as a primary consideration.
The revised Staff Report was not "informed" by the public's desire for due diligence. 
OPSB talked to Duke representatives who "confirmed that the information previously provided (by Duke)...are accurate".   Rather than assuming the data is “accurate” just because Duke says so, OPSB must determine whether the data is valid.  There is incentive for Duke to overbuild capacity, because they are guaranteed a rate of return, even if very little new capacity is needed.  Here are some things OPSB did not consider:
  • Duke's history of overbuilding infrastructure
  • Duke specifically states that the Central Corridor Pipeline is not needed to replace aging pipelines like A line
  • Duke's forecasting methodology was declared statistically invalid by an independent auditor
  • Duke has recently invested millions of dollars on upgrades for their propane peaking plants
  • Duke's failure to provide an in-depth evaluation of other less costly, less intrusive, smaller scale options for addressing their stated need
Public input was not used to "inform Staff" about the importance of considering human safety
In the report, OPSB Staff reiterated that Duke is required to follow certain safety standards.  However, OPSB fails to recognize or consider that even when pipelines are constructed to meet (or exceed) federal safety standards, failures happen all of the time:   
  • Sometimes these failures are caused by 3rd party damage (which is more likely to occur in populated areas).

Workers accidentally ignite gas leak at Minnesota School
  • In 2018, failures on brand new pipelines were caused by landslides - a known issue prior to construction. 

Leach Xpress in operation less than 6 months
  • And sometimes failures are caused by unqualified workers, inadequate supervision and testing, or failure to follow required protocol. 

Columbia Gas pipeline had six times the maximum allowable operating pressure when natural gas explosions ignited in 3 different towns near Boston
Duke has had several recent serious safety violations including a $10 million fine for not following required safety precautions with their electric power grid  and  two separate violations from PHMSA for not complying with integrity management requirements that are designed to keep us safe.  

PHMSA notifies Duke CEO Lynn Good of serious violations committed by Duke of Ohio's subsidiary

These are just a few of the reasons why OPSB cannot simply brush aside public concerns and abdicate responsibility for human safety to Duke, or written regulations that are not always followed in the real world.

Our families deserve better.  We will bear all of the burdens from whatever is put in place, for decades to come.
The OPSB Staff Report is only one piece of information that is considered during the OPSB decision making process.  Public testimony, evidence presented by Duke and Opposing Intervenors (like NOPE), cross examination of experts and other factors are also considered.
1. Mark your calendars and attend: 2. Spread the word - Use social sharing (like Facebook, Email, Twitter), go door-to-door, or ask to hang bulletin notices in places where you frequent.  We need your help to to get information to a lot of people who could be affected by Duke's Central Corridor Pipeline.  Here is NOPE's: 3. Write the Ohio Power Siting Board -- even if you have already done this before.  They need to hear you are still concerned and expect more from them.  In your email, mention case # 16-253-GA-BTX -

4. Support NOPE Financially - All the money you contribute goes directly to our outreach efforts and legal expenses. Visit NOPE's GoFundMe page or send check payable to NOPE c/o Glenn Rosen, 9228 Bluewing Ter, Blue Ash, OH 45236)

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