by Ron Prosek
While researching pipelines and related infrastructure in northern Ohio for a presentation that I am to give at the next FaCT meeting on November 17 in Elmore, OH, I also delved a bit into plans for southern Ohio and West Virginia just across the Ohio River.
This is what the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition reports on these plans:
The Appalachian Storage Hub (ASH), also known as the Appalachian Ethane (or NGL) Storage Hub, is a proposed mega-infrastructure project which could greatly expand unconventional oil and gas drilling (fracking) in our state and region. If built, this petrochemical complex would include five or more cracker plants, and regulating stations. Various natural gas liquids would be stored in underground storage facilities and transported via up to 15 possible pipelines. The petrochemical complex would roughly follow the course of the Upper and Lower Ohio River Valleys. Currently, it is uncertain whether most of the infrastructure would be located on the Ohio side or the West Virginia side of the river. It would cost billions of dollars to construct.
Of course this raises many environmental and health concerns for all of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. For one, it would stimulate the expansion of shale fracking throughout these states. It means more drill pads, condensate tanks, pipelines, compressor stations, cracker plants, petrochemical manufacturing, and frack waste injection wells.
These impending threats make our work with the Ohio Health Registry and Pennsylvania’s work with the SW PA Environmental Health Project more urgent than ever. And it points up the need for even closer cooperation among volunteers from all three of these states.