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'All of this is going to be gone': Residents worried about pipeline approved for Delaware, Union counties

The company says its needed to meet the demands for the growing region. Some have concerns about the environment and their property value.

DELAWARE, Ohio — Andrea Yagoda starts every day the same way.

She walks the trail her husband built on their 28-acre property behind their home in Delaware.

The property straddles both Delaware and Union Counties – two counties that will eventually have a new natural gas pipeline.

Now a retired lawyer, Yagoda traded the city life in New York for more space and quiet in central Ohio in 1978.

"All of this is going to be gone,” she said while pointing to a tree line along that trail behind her home.

She said in June of 2020 she got a notice about a proposed 16-mile pipeline, called the Columbia Gas Northern Loop Project.

Yagoda explained the project will wipe out many of the trees on her property.

Earlier this month, Ohio's Power Siting Board approved the plan.

It will run through both counties, crossing Route 42 and the Scioto River, down to Glacier Ridge Metro Park.

According to Columbia Gas of Ohio, existing lines can't keep up with the demand for this growing area.

"Over the last 20 years that area, that northwest part of Franklin County, that southeastern part of Union Count and Delaware County has grown significantly,” said Vince Parisi, Columbia Gas of Ohio President. “The growth has been tremendous. We've done as much as we can to bring in more supply from the eastern part of our system but we are really starting to reach the limits of what we can do with the existing configuration."

Yagoda said she is concerned about what this project will mean for the value of her property.

And also this:

"My question was directly to the radius of harm if there was a problem with the pipeline and I think everyone has a right to know that because that's placing us in danger," she said. "I asked four times they would not answer that question."

“Whenever we put any kind of a natural gas pipeline in the safety of our communities is paramount to anything else,” said Parisi. "Typically with this size of pipe that we will be building, you know, we'll have a right of way that ultimately runs the extent of the pipe. We'll have people out there monitoring the pipeline on a fairly regular basis to ensure that we don't have any issues or corrosion."

Yagoda isn't the only one concerned. 

We also found more property owners who sued Columbia Gas of Ohio, asking the company not to build the pipeline citing a “violation of property rights” and a "significant environmental risk." 

"I worry that once there's an invasion, we're going to have another one,” she said.

According to Columbia Gas of Ohio, a timeline is not clear at this time for when construction could begin.

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