Update: Environmental group says pipeline not thoroughly reviewed

Published: Jan. 31, 2018 at 7:01 AM EST
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Update: 2/1/2018 5:15 P.M.

An environmental group claims the pipeline where an explosion happened Wednesday in Noble County failed to get a detailed review before it was approved.

In 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a request by the owners of the Seneca Lateral pipeline for modifications in the flow of natural gas.

Whereas the gas had been flowing from east to west, the company asked for approval of a reversal, due to the then-growing Marcellus Shale drilling in the region.

A number of environmental groups, including the Allegheny Defense Project, filed a protest stating an environmental impact statement should have been prepared before the project was approved.

"The pipeline was approved about a month after the company approved the application, the Defense Project's Executive Director, Ryan Talbott, said Thursday. "So it was a very streamlined process. And this is a problem with essentially deregulating the environmental review process."

Talbott also said a more detailed review process would have allowed the public to comment on the company's proposal.


A section of the 24-inch Seneca Lateral natural gas pipeline in a remote area of Noble County exploded early Wednesday morning.

The Noble County Emergency Management Office says it happened about 2:30 A.M on Wednesday, in an area about three miles north of Summerfield, Ohio, near Ohio State Routes 513 and 379.

Authorities say no one was injured, and there were no evacuations.

The fire has been extinguished.

Crews from the Summerfield, Belle Valley and Caldwell fire departments responded to the scene.

United Ambulance service and the Noble County sheriff's office also are at the scene.

An investigation into what caused the explosion in the pipeline operated by Tallgrass Energy is continuing.