Randolph residents concerned about pipeline, easements

By Mike Sever | staff writer Published:

Residents are questioning plans by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. to change what product runs through a petroleum pipeline that runs through southern Portage County, and to replace a six-inch line with the new, 12-inch pipeline.

Two high-pressure lines run through the same right of way from Mogadore to Beaver, Pa.: A 6-inch line built in the early 1930s; and a 10-inch line built in 1967. It is part of the longer Hudson-Allegheny Access route that carries petroleum products.

Randolph resident Cathy Doak believes the company plans to change the transported product in the 10-inch pipeline from petroleum products to "ethane" which is neither "petroleum" or "natural gas" but is defined in the Ohio Revised Code as "natural gas liquid."

Both lines are inactive but the 10-inch is slated to start up as soon as integrity tests are finished, according to information Sunoco provided Doak.

The 6-inch line would be supplanted by a 12-inch line along the full 74-mile length of the route from Mogadore to Beaver, Pa. The 57-mile route in Ohio would be primarily along existing 50-foot right of way with the exception of a 4.3-mile reroute around Mogadore Reservoir.

Doak said she and her neighbors have been approached by agents of Sunoco Pipeline L.P. to sign new easements. She said she objects to the vague language of the easements. Attempts to contact a spokesperson for the pipeline company were unsuccessful.

Doak said they're asking for a greater width of right of way, and for temporary work stations during construction. The easements also include language that would expand the products allowed to infinity, Doak said.

She said the easements are for a pipeline "for the purpose of transporting oil, oil products, crude petroleum, natural gas, gas liquids, liquified minerals, mineral solutions or any other liquids, gases or substances, including water."

"I will not sign such a document, ever," Doak said. She said she objects to the all-inclusiveness of the language and Sunoco's reluctance to be more specific.

Unlimited products would allow for radioactive products, toxic products, medical wastes, she said.

"I want property owners to be aware of their rights so they know what they're actually signing for when they're presented with an easement document," Doak said.

According to a project description filed with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the purpose of changing the products carried and adding the new 12-inch line is to transport refined products from the Midwest to markets in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

The project is expect to have an initial capacity of 85,000 barrels (3.7 million gallons) per day with the ability to scale up to 110,000 barrels (4.6 million gallons) per day. Sunoco Pipeline L.P. is a subsidiary of Sunoco Logistics Partners Operations L.P., and operates more than 7,500 miles of liquid pipelines.

Sunoco also has an application pending before the OEPA for a permit to disturb a half-acre of wetlands in Suffield and Randolph townships during its pipe replacement process. The Ohio EPA ID number for the project is 134188.

Doak is urging people to write to the OEPA requesting a public hearing on the wetlands issues as a way to get Sunoco to explain what it wants to do and what products will be sent through the line.

Public comments may be submitted, including a request for a public hearing, by approximately August 3, 2013, only in writing. Public comments should be sent to: Ohio EPA-DSW, Attention: Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049, RE: Ohio EPA ID #134188.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1125 or msever@recordpub.com

Facebook: Mike Sever, Record-Courier

Twitter: @MikeSever_RC

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  • Ethane is a chemical compound with chemical formula C2H6. At standard temperature and pressure, ethane is a colorless, odorless gas. Ethane is isolated on an industrial scale from natural gas, and as a byproduct of petroleum refining.

    It falls between methane CH4 and propane C3H8 in the alkanes. Not really all that scary.

    The planned use includes dihydrogen monoxide, which mixes readily with water when spilled. That is scary.