More than 250 route changes have been evaluated since Spectra Energy pre-filed its NEXUS pipeline plans with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this June.
Now the final filing has been made, asking the government for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build, own, and operate the 255-mile natural gas transmission line.
The gas company is asking for approval no later than November 2016.
If approved, construction would begin in early 2017 and the first gas would flow by the fourth quarter of that year.
Roughly 87 percent of the proposed route is in agricultural areas or follows existing utility corridors in Ohio and Michigan.
“This route has been refined during the pre-file process based on consultation with affected stakeholders, evaluation of impacts to the environment, constructability requirements, safety regulations, and requirements to meet customer needs,” stated Spectra’s application with FERC.
About 208 miles of new pipeline would pass through 13 counties in Ohio and four compressor stations would be built in Ohio.
The closest compressor station to Lorain County would be a 26,000 horsepower station in Wadsworth, Medina County.
Eleven Ohio companies have already expressed interest in connecting with the pipeline. Only one is in Lorain County — the NRG Power Midwest LP in Avon Lake.
The project calls for a 36-inch diameter pipeline extending from the shale fields of eastern Ohio to markets in Canada.
The line is expected to deliver 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of Appalachian Basin natural gas to markets in Ohio, Michigan, and the Dawn Hub in Ontario.
The proposed route is expected to pass through Pittsfield Township near the Touched by Grace specialty shop and C&C Sales and Services on U.S. 20, and through Oberlin north of Reserve Avenue.
The line would not swing south toward Wellington as had been suggested by activist groups and cities concerned about its proximity to houses.
“The project will provide critical access to emerging natural gas supplies,” the application stated. “It is expected that the NEXUS project will result in an overall improvement in regional air quality.”
FERC is expected to evaluate all potential environmental impacts and how Spectra Energy plans to reduce them. The process allows for landowners, residents, and stakeholders to provide public input.
According to Spectra, multiple state and federal agencies will also review the environmental impact of the proposed line.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.