The Rockies Express Pipeline is a 1,663-mile long natural gas pipeline set to run from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to Monroe County, Ohio, is on track to be built by the end of 2008.
In September 2006, pipeline officials announced plans to change the original route of the pipeline north of Bainbridge due to concerns about the nature preserve located on the banks of Big Walnut Creek.
Originally the pipeline was proposed for the north side of U.S. 36 across the entire county, but the nature preserve forced officials to direct it south instead.
The pipeline is now set to cross south of U.S. 36 about two miles east of U.S. 231, or near what locals refer to as the shortcut road (CR 100 West), and continue east where it will pass south of Bainbridge and continue on toward Hendricks County.
The pipeline itself will be 42 inches in diameter and will carry natural gas from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the farmlands of Monroe County, Ohio, a distance of 1,663 miles.
Several meetings were held in 2006 and 2007 where county residents raised concerns about the pipeline and its effect on the county.
Issues that farmers are concerned with include whether REX returns the nutrient-rich topsoil back to the surface once the pipeline is buried, what will happen to existing drainage tiles that get broken during the pipeline installation, what will be done for erosion control while the trench for the pipeline is being dug and will REX come back to repair any long-term damage or problems that result from the pipeline's installation.
Concerns were also brought up about the depth the pipeline is to be buried -- a minimum of 3 feet.
Pipeline officials told the Putnam County Commissioners in November 2007 that federal law only requires 30 inches of cover, so they are going much deeper. They also agreed that damaged tiles would be repaired and topsoil would be returned to its original condition and put back in place.
Local residents continue to contact the BannerGraphic regarding the substation planned near Bainbridge. More information is being compiled about that project and will be published soon.
Residents can keep up to date with the project in several ways.
FERC's website, www.ferc.gov, has a section called E-Library. Anyone interested in the project can go there and register their e-mail address to be placed on a mailing list for updates on the project.
Those interested in doing more research can find a series of documents about the project that are kept within the online library. Users will be prompted to enter a docket number.
The docket number for the REX pipeline project is PF06-30.
A request for permits to trench across and bore under several county roads were made by REX officials at the last Putnam County Commissioners meeting. The requests were tabled until the May 5 meeting.