A press release from a Harrison County organic farmer:





Mick Luber’s organic farm near Cadiz, Ohio has been threatened by the siting of the

Utopia Pipeline across his main production area of his farm. Mick sells organic produce at the

Wheeling Farmer’s Market and markets in Pittsburgh run by City Parks. He has been on his farm

since 1979. The farm is a USDA certified farm, which is certified by the Ohio Ecological Food

and Farm Association.

Kinder-Morgan, the owner of the planned Utopia Pipeline, took Mick to court to force

him to allow surveying of his property in the Court of Common Pleas in Harrison County.

Kinder-Morgan suggested in their filing that they could use the Ohio Revised Code Sections

1723.01 and 163 as a common carrier to get an injunction against Mick. Judge Hervey of the

Court ruled in favor of the company. The litigation is currently in appeal to the Seventh District

Court of Appeals. Mick was forced to let the company on his property to survey.

Kinder-Morgan is planning on using this Utopia Pipeline to haul ethane and propaneethane

mixtures to Ontario, Canada, which will then be used to make plastics for a private, forprofit

company. Mick’s attorneys argued that because what is going to be transported are

natural gas liquids (NGLs), the proposed pipeline does not meet the criteria of the law (slurried

coal, natural gas or petroleum), and therefore, the company does not meet common carrier

status under Ohio Revised Code Sections 1723.01 and 163. Additionally, Mick’s attorneys

argued that the Utopia Pipeline Project at issue is not in the public welfare and is not necessary

for a public use as required by Article 1, section 19 of the Ohio Constitution in order to justify

eminent domain authority, but rather serves a private profit motive.

Mick says that the most productive area of his farm could not be restored to its present

state of soil life and structure no matter how good the reclamation would be. “You can’t work

on soil for 30 plus years, adding compost to make the soil enliven with bacteria, earth worms

and mycelium and watch it be destroyed by bulldozers and track hoes. When I moved to this

farm the field was solid clay. I thought I should be in the pottery business instead of farming

but by adding composted manures in three years the soil improved remarkably with friability

and now after 30 plus years it is exceedingly productive. “

There is presently a pipeline being planned at the south end of the field in question and

Kinder-Morgan could use that same area for its pipeline, and miss Mick’s fields all together.

The pipeline should be moved so Mick doesn’t lose his livelihood and his organic production for

his customers.

Mick needs his customers and the public to write to Kinder-Morgan and the Ohio Siting

Board, suggesting they move this pipeline off his property. He is one of a few organic vegetable

growers left in the area.