A Wood County judge has ruled a company seeking to build an ethane pipeline across Ohio for a Canadian company does not have the right acquire property through eminent domain.
The ruling could hinder Pennsylvania-based Kinder Morgan's plans to build a 12-inch pipeline from eastern Ohio shale fields across the state to an existing Michigan pipeline that ends at a Windsor, Ontario, chemical plant. Kinder Morgan had sued Wood County property owners to obtain paid easements to their land. Ethane is a byproduct of fracking that's used to produce plastics. The judge says forcing property owners to grant easements would violate their constitutional rights. Kinder Morgan has filed an appeal with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The company also gave Ohio State University 200 thousand dollars that will partially fund a study of the Utopia East pipeline's impact on soil and agriculture.