Pipeline, easement info meetings planned

RAVENNA – Following Thursday’s meeting with a pipeline company to address plans for Portage County pipeline development, a grassroots citizens group is planning a new meeting on the basics of pipelines and easements for residents considering land contracts.

The “Pipeline and Easement Informational Meeting” is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Mantua Civic Center, 11670 Mantua Center Road, Mantua, with others to follow.

“We teach Pipelines 101 so residents can start with Pipelines 202 when and if they meet with professionals,” said Mary Greer, a presenter in the class. “We are just citizens helping citizens.”

Greer was among more than 100 northeast Ohio residents who attended last week’s meeting with Portage County commissioners and representatives of Sunoco Logistics, who are developing at least two pipelines in Portage and Mahoning counties.

One line, the Mariner West, passes through Mahoning and Portage counties carrying ethane gas. That line began operations in December. A second line, known as Allegheny Access, is planned to pass through the southwestern portion of Portage County, slated to carry refined products like diesel or gasoline. Officials from the company, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, a federal regulatory group and an overflow public crowd turned out to discuss the pipelines.

During last week’s meeting residents questioned language in Sunoco Logistics’ easement agreements along with what some described as strong-arm tactics landmen representing the company have used in attempts to secure contracts.

Company officials said strong-arm tactics are not something they endorse, and called on residents to report concerns with landmen or other Sunoco Logistics’ pipeline issues to call the company hotline at 855-430-4491.

During the meeting, Greer publicly called on Sunoco Logistics’ representatives to invest in Portage County rather than just utilizing the land for profit.

Saturday’s pipeline and easement informational meeting is one of a series of meeting that was in the works before last week’s Portage County commissioners meeting, but as a result of the overflow crowd there, interest has expanded in the informational sessions.

Greer stressed that presenters are not attorneys. They do not give legal advice, but rather help make property owners more knowledgeable on the process.