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Green, City of v. Nexus Gas Transmission, LLC

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20153
Nos. 17-4016, (6th Cir., 11/22/2017)

The Sixth Circuit held that the state of Ohio did not properly analyze the environmental harm of an eight-mile stretch of the Nexus natural gas pipeline or consider alternative routes to avoid the City of Green. The pipeline would run through a wetland that the city claimed would be irreparably harmed if the construction was allowed to proceed. The city requested an injunction claiming that the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM), the preferred methodology for assessing wetlands, was not followed as the impacts were evaluated outside of the growing season, the time when the most reliable information could be gathered. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) argued that it had discretion to use other methods to evaluate the wetlands and that most of the methods used satisfied ORAM. The court disagreed, holding that state law explicitly requires OEPA to analyze wetlands consistent with ORAM. Further, OEPA did not evaluate alternative pipeline routes to avoid Green. The injunction was granted.