89.1 WEMU

Issues of the Environment: Gas And Oil Pipelines Running Through Washtenaw County

Oct 29, 2014

The amount of crude oil coursing through Washtenaw County has doubled* in the last two years. Two new natural Gas pipeline projects  are also expected to impact Washtenaw County property owners. 

Environmentalists, needless to say, are concerned about the increased flow of crude oil in Washtenaw County. That's the topic in this week's edition of Issues of the Environment. Nancy Shiffler, Chair of the Huron Valley Group of the Sierra Club, joins me to discuss oil and gas pipelines in Washtenaw County.

Overview

In the past two years residents of Washtenaw County have seen the amount of crude oil running through their yards nearly doubled with Enbridge’s Line 6B expansion and Enbridge/Wolverine Line 79 spur, and now two major natural gas lines through the county are in the works: The ET Rover Pipeline and the Nexus Pipeline.

Last week,the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners addressed these projects by encouraging citizens to attend informational public meetings and by submitting preliminary public commentary to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which approves or denies such projects.

According to Nancy Shiffler, Chair of the Sierra Club, Huron Valley Group,”There are multiple issues involved with these pipelines:"

  *   eminent domain and property rights for people living on the proposed route

  *   public safety issues for pipelines

  *   public necessity arguments -- if most of the gas is being shipped to Canada, what does Michigan gain by just being a pass-through route?

  *   by creating more markets for natural gas, these pipelines exacerbate the destructive practices of fracking in Pennsylvania, W Virginia, and Ohio”

Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Projects

ET Rover Pipeline

  *   The project will provide a transportation path for Marcellus and Utica shale gas supplies from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio through Michigan to the Union Gas Hub near Sarnia, Canada.

  *   Overall, both existing capacity as well as a newly‐constructed pipeline will be used. In Washtenaw County, new pipeline is proposed.

  *   Capacity is estimated to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Nexus Pipeline

  *   The project will provide a transportation path for Utica shale gas supplies from Ohio to Michigan and to Dawn, Ontario.

  *   Overall, both existing capacity as well as a newly‐constructed pipeline will be used. In Washtenaw County, both new and existing pipeline is proposed.

  *   Capacity is estimated to transport 1-2 billion cubic feet per day.

 

Crude Oil Pipeline
Credit Wikipedia