Below are updates from NOPE. Please read this newsletter carefully, as there is important and new information.
Adjudicatory Hearing - September 11th
In four weeks, NOPE and the following municipalities will present a case against the pipeline before the Ohio Power Siting Board: Amberley, Blue Ash, Cincinnati, Columbia Township, Deer Park, Evendale, Golf Manor, Madeira, Pleasant Ridge, Reading, and Sycamore Township. In addition to these municipalities, other intervening groups include: BRE DDR Crocodile Sycamore Plaza, LLC, IGS ENERGY, KENWOOD MALL LLC, RLB, INC.
The adjudicatory hearing will be held beginning Monday, September 11th from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM in Columbus, at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. It will probably last at least a couple of days. However, we will not know the final schedule until all witness testimony has been filed by September 1st. Anyone can attend all or part of the hearing. We will provide more details as they are available.
MORE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY...
NOPE and several municipalities have spent the past two months asking questions and requesting documents from Duke as part of the case’s formal discovery process. Yet many of Duke’s responses have been cloaked in secrecy—identified as “top secret” or as “proprietary trade secrets, for attorneys eyes only”—even though Duke is a regulated monopoly with no local competition. And while Duke expects our communities to bear the burden of this pipeline, the company has in some cases claimed that mere questions are overly burdensome, and has objected to answering them.
ANALYSIS SHOWS NO NEED/NO BENEFIT
Thanks to an extensive analysis by NOPE’s engineers, scientists, and academics, it’s clearer than ever that Duke does not need another pipeline to meet the area’s natural gas needs, both now and well into the future. The company is already upgrading its existing lines to transmit more gas, and our analysis shows that with some minor additional changes, Duke can balance its system and meet demand without the Central Corridor Pipeline Extension. NOPE also continues to question Duke’s claims that propane peaking plants—used for the handful of winter days where natural gas is not enough—must be retired rather than upgraded or replaced.
POOR ENGAGEMENT AT STATE LEVEL CONTINUES
The Ohio Power Siting Board, tasked with protecting the interests of our communities, continues to show a lack of interest in this project despite unprecedented opposition. In the past 10 years, OPSB has only received six applications for natural gas transmission lines—none of them for new high pressure lines in densely populated areas—and it rarely receives more than a few comments and concerns from the public. By contrast, this case has brought in more than 3,000 letters, comments, and signatures of opposition, yet no OPSB members attended the public hearing in June, and none plan to attend the adjudicatory hearing on September 11.
THIS PROJECT IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Duke has finally released a portion of their 2016 long term natural gas forecast, in which the company describes 11 different transmission line projects—either for high- pressure upgrades to existing lines or entirely new high-pressure lines. In the Central Corridor area, there are planned upgrades
to transmission lines that currently operate at 125-200 psi. The following transmission lines are targeted for an upgrade to 500 psi: A, V, D, EE, AA.
The result, if Duke gets its way, will be miles of 500 psi pipelines throughout Hamilton County and Southwest Ohio, just like the one Duke is proposing now.
Review the map below to see if your community is likely to be burdened by safety concerns and financial and quality of life impacts associated with significant pressure increases on Duke's existing transmission lines.
What to do now:
1) SUPPORT NOPECINCY
NOPE still needs financial support from the community to pay for legal fees and expert testimony. Contributions can be made online through NOPE's GoFundMe page. Checks payable to: NOPE - Neighbors Opposing Pipeline Extension, LLC can be mailed to NOPE c/o Glenn Rosen, Treasurer 9228 Bluewing Ter, Blue Ash, OH 45236. NOTE:Contributions are not tax deductible.
Please help us in the fight to protect our communities from unnecessary, irresponsible natural gas infrastructure!
2) SPEAK UP!
We need you to pass on this information to others who could be affected by this pipeline and the other planned projects. Encourage them to JOIN and SUPPORT NOPE, write letters to officials and push out information through their own communication networks.
Also, write letters to the newspapers. Tell your personal story. Feel free to leverage information included in this newsletter to raise awareness of issues that are of the most concern to you. Media coverage can sometimes force action, where letters and phone calls are not enough. Writing a letter to the Columbus Dispatch could bring the issues we are experiencing in front of people who may be able to help our cause. Submitting letters to the Cincinnati Enquirer or articles to the Community Press newspapers can also increase media attention to this important issue. The newspapers generally prefer letters to be about 200 words or less.
Remind your local elected officials to stay engaged and share important information about this project with the entire community, on a regular basis.