Sunday, January 21, 2001

Pipeline legal hurdles remain

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A petroleum company has won another legal battle in its effort to replace a pipeline that would span 130 miles from the Ohio River to Columbus.

        The 5th Ohio District Court of Appeals declared last week that Marathon Ashland Petroleum can replace the former natural gas line with a new liquid-fuel line beneath a number of properties in the county. That ruling overturned an earlier decision by Fairfield County judge.

        The pipeline was to start transporting gasoline, jet fuel and other products through eight counties last year. But the $50 million project can't get under way because of two pending cases.

        Judges in Franklin and Pickaway counties are expected to decide if the company can use eminent domain to take private land.

        The company wants to bury the pipeline under four feet of earth along existing easements through Lawrence, Gallia, Jackson, Vinton, Hocking, Fairfield, Pickaway and Franklin counties.

        The company applied last year to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a blanket permit, which requires no public notification, but yanked the application after the Ohio and U.S. environmental protection agencies, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raised concerns.


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- Pipeline legal hurdles remain