Quantcast

Sierra Club Granted Intervener Status in Ohio State Wetlands Hearing

Sierra Club Ohio Chapter

The Sierra Club Ohio Chapter was recently granted status as an intervener in the upcoming Ohio Power Siting Board adjudicatory hearing related to the placement of a pipeline beneath Ohio State University wetlands. This news comes on the heels of an earlier victory, in which Ohio State University denied Columbia Gas’s request for an easement to place the high-pressure natural gas pipeline under the Wilma H. Scheirmeier Wetlands Research Park. In its efforts to reroute the pipeline, the Sierra Club submitted nearly 800 letters to Ohio State president Gordon Gee and the Ohio State administration, asking that they not grant Columbia Gas an easement to locate the line under the wetlands.

The pipeline in question would replace another line that runs through a property adjacent to the wetlands. Although Columbia Gas identified a number of different potential routes for the line, its preferred route is through the wetlands, which are designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.

“We were excited when we received the news that the Ohio State administration stood tall and denied the easement. Hopefully, Columbia Gas will respect the university’s wishes and relocate the pipeline to a different route,” stated Ben Wickizer, Conservation Program Coordinator for the Sierra Club.

Approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board is required for any new pipeline and, in this case, approval is still pending. The Board will review the case and all affected parties have the opportunity to intervene and participate in an adjudicatory hearing. The Sierra Club was granted status as an intervening party because of its connection to the site—it holds regular river clean ups there and last year logged nearly 1,000 volunteer hours maintaining the area—and its history of protecting wetlands.

The possibility still exists that the pipeline could be located through the wetlands despite Ohio State’s objections. In Ohio, public utilities have the ability to invoke eminent domain to appropriate desired areas for infrastructure installments, whether the property owner agrees or not.

“We hope the Ohio Power Siting Board recognizes the rare value of the wetlands and mandates that Columbia Gas select a new route for the line,” said central Ohio Sierra Club Executive Committee Chairman, David Donofrio. “There are just too many risks associated with locating the pipeline beneath this fragile ecosystem.”

An initial report by board staff recommends that Columbia Gas select an alternative route for the pipeline, which would avoid the wetlands. There will be a public hearing as part of the board’s determination process, which will be held at the Whetstone Park of Roses Shelter House at 6 pm on Jan. 10.

For more information, click here or email Ben Wickizer at ben.wickizer@sierraclub.org.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial assessment of Hurricane Sandy damage in Connecticut. Dannel Malloy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.

Read More Show Less
Giant sequoia trees at Sequoia National Park, California. lucky-photographer / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
This aerial view shows the Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, one of the venues for 2019 Rugby World Cup. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.

Read More Show Less
Vera_Petrunina / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Wudan Yan

In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."

Read More Show Less
Volunteer caucasian woman giving grain to starving African children. Bartosz Hadyniak / E+ / Getty Images

By Frances Moore Lappé

Food will be scarce, expensive and less nutritious," CNN warns us in its coverage of the UN's new "Climate Change and Land" report. The New York Times announces that "Climate Change Threatens the World's Food Supply."

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
British Airways 757. Jon Osborne / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Adam Vaughan

Two-thirds of people in the UK think the amount people fly should be reined in to tackle climate change, polling has found.

Read More Show Less
Climate Week NYC

On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.

Read More Show Less

By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans

Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.

Read More Show Less