Sunday, August 17, 2003

Ohio River Pipeline gets approval

The Associated Press

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given its approval for work to resume on a Marathon Ashland Petroleum pipeline being built in southern Ohio.

The corps halted construction on the pipeline project July 2 after inspections revealed violations at a section running through the Richland Furnace State Forest in northern Jackson County, Ohio.

The agreement to resume construction was reached after Ohio River Pipeline LLC, a Marathon subsidiary, gave the corps a plan to avoid environmental problems during the remainder of construction.

The modified permit requires the company to revegetate disturbed areas.

The corps said recent inspections show that 85 percent of the noncompliance issues have been at least partly corrected and 95 percent of priority locations repaired, including Hocking Hills and Richland Furnace in southern Ohio. Remaining repairs are due to be done by Sept. 8.

Before construction was stopped, inspectors complained that workers had dumped fill into waterways, failed to control erosion and sediment and worked outside the approved right of way.

Over the weekend the corps and Ohio River Pipeline agreed on an interim plan to correct the violations.

Ohio River Pipeline holds the permit to build the 149-mile petroleum pipeline through southern Ohio. About 40 miles remain on the $100 million, 14-inch pipeline project.

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