Aryeh Alex, May 22, 2019
Columbus, OH — On Monday, May 20, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Buckeye XPress Project, a 66.2 mile pipeline with 12.6 miles crossing through the Wayne National Forest. Proposed by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, the Buckeye XPress replaces an older pipeline while providing Columbia with additional capacity in anticipation of future oil and gas development in Appalachia. The Buckeye XPress would be the first major pipeline constructed in Ohio following the construction of the Rover and Nexus Pipelines.
The following statement can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Nathan Johnson, Public Lands Director for the Ohio Environmental Council: “After the disastrous impacts to Ohio wetlands and streams from the Rover Pipeline, we’re keeping a close eye on the development of the Buckeye XPress pipeline.”
Now that FERC has issued the Environmental Assessment, the U.S. Forest Service will use it to approve a Special Use Permit for crossing sections of the Wayne National Forest. FERC will also consider whether it will approve or deny the pipeline’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
“Over the next few weeks, we’ll be closely analyzing the Environmental Assessment to determine whether it meets the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act,” said Nathan Johnson. “Given the damage caused by the Rover Pipeline, we’re particularly worried about the potentially severe risks to Ohio’s only National Forest should this pipeline traverse it. With the growing threat of climate change, we should also be closely considering whether we should continue approving infrastructure for antiquated fossil fuel industries.”
Interested parties have until June 19th to comment on the Environmental Assessment and the U.S. Forest Service’s related Special Use Permit.