OBERLIN — The city on Monday voted to join a lawsuit with the goal of stopping the NEXUS gas transmission pipeline from cutting through land near residents.
Law Director Jon Clark said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, David Mucklow, reached out to Clark about getting Oberlin to join.
City Council voted Monday to authorize Clark to start the process of becoming a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit, along with about 40 to 60 people from Medina, Summit and Stark counties.
“The lawsuit is in line with the city’s objective of doing anything and everything it can to cause the reroute of the NEXUS pipeline,” Clark said.
The suit — Laura D. Urban et al. vs. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission et al. — is in federal court. The plaintiffs have asked for a preliminary injunction and for the court to put an emergency stay on the issuance of the certificate of approval for the line’s construction to begin, Clark said. Each side has a chance to respond, and a conference is scheduled for June 22, according to the U.S. District Court docket. Judge John Adams of the U.S. court’s Akron office is assigned to the case.
“In one instance it’s as close as 50 feet … it’s being built right in the backyard of Oberlin city residents,” Clark said. “From there it would go through the Ramsey Right of Way, and that is owned by the city.”
The right of way is a walking path near West Hamilton Street and adjacent to wetlands.
“The city joining this lawsuit is in keeping with what we’ve been saying for years,” Councilman Bryan Burgess said. “We don’t want NEXUS to come through Oberlin.”
NEXUS is a project of Houston–based Spectra Energy with plans to construct a 255-mile pipeline that would cross 11 Ohio counties before heading into Michigan and Canada.
Gazette reporter Ashley Fox contributed to this report.
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