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Ohio Utica Shale

Bluegrass Pipeline will avoid nuns' property in Kentucky

By Bob Downing Published: September 9, 2013

From the Associated Press:

A proposed pipeline that would carry flammable liquids through north and central Kentucky wouldn’t cross into land owned by a group of Catholic nuns that has been outspokenly opposed to it, a pipeline company spokesman said last week.

The Bluegrass Pipeline would stay north of Marion County, which is home to the Sisters of Loretto’s 780-acre property, said Tom Droege, a spokesman for Williams Co. of Tulsa, Okla.

“Now that the route is becoming more defined, we are confident we will stay well to the north of Marion County,” Droege said in an email.

The sisters earlier this year had refused to let surveyors onto their property, saying the land was sacred and that they would oppose the pipeline’s construction.

The 500-mile pipeline, being built by Williams Co. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners of Houston, would join an existing transmission line in Breckinridge County that runs to the Gulf of Mexico.

As currently proposed, the pipeline would pass near land owned by the Abbey of Gethsemani in Nelson County, which is next to Marion County. Droege said the company is looking for a route around the monks’ land as well, since they also have not granted permission to do a survey. No one answered a telephone call to the abbey Wednesday.

The company is “looking at other options, including alternative routes,” Droege said. He said more than 90 percent of landowners along the proposed pipeline route have granted survey permission.

The 50-foot-wide easements would be acquired with one-time payments to the landowners, based on a property appraisal.

“They’re not coming through here because we said no,” Peg Jacobs, who has lived at the Loretto Motherhouse for 14 years, said Wednesday. She said the sisters would continue to oppose the pipeline, wherever the proposed route goes.

The sisters have joined landowners and environmentalists in public protests against the pipeline, saying it presents a chemical leak risk.

Some of the sisters are planning to attend a House and Senate committee meeting Thursday in Frankfort, where legislators will hear from pipeline developers about the project.

The companies have said underground transmission is safer than transporting the chemicals by rail or roadway. The material carried by the pipeline is a liquid byproduct of the natural gas refining process that is used to make plastics, medical supplies and carpet, among other products. The liquids contain flammable substances including propane, butane and ethane



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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.