The Rockies Express (REX) Pipeline is set to begin construction within the next four to six weeks.
REX Pipeline Spokesman Allen Fore spoke to the Greencastle Rotary Club on Wednesday. In his presentation, Fore explained how the pipeline will be used to transport natural gas from the Rocky Mountains through Putnam County all the way to eastern Ohio.
"We are basically a toll way for natural gas," said Fore. "We charge a toll to transport gas through the pipeline just like a toll road charges for use of their road."
At this time, the construction is waiting on their final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). FERC is an independent regulatory agency within the United States Department of Energy. Neither the President nor Congress can review their decisions. They regulate and approve many things such as the transmission and sale of natural gas for resale in interstate commerce.
Fore showed the Rotary Club pictures of the right-of-way they create during construction as well as following the conclusion of construction.
"Back in the 1970's pipeline construction would not replace the segregated soil properly. We peel off the soil, place it beside the trench and replace it in its proper order," Fore said.
By doing this, the construction process leaves little to no remnants and allows the right-of-way to return to its normal state quicker. Fore stated they should be completed with the construction process in Putnam County by the end of the year.
The county and state will both benefit from the implement of this pipeline as well, Fore explained, due do the use of interconnects the state will be able to hook up to the pipeline and draw the gas out.
Companies like Vectren can connect to the pipeline at these interconnects and offer their clients gas. Fore could not say for certain that this will drive natural gas prices down, but figures when more commodities are placed in a market, prices do tend to drop.
Fore also talked about the compressor station that may be built just west of Bainbridge. This multimillion-dollar facility is funded by REX and will employ four to six people.
"Noise was often a concern for people living around the stations," said Fore. "These stations emit no noise above a normal speaking voice."
The way they are able to achieve this quiet environment is by making the building sound proof. Fore said that even inside the building, the motors don't make much more sound than a diesel engine.
"There is no toxic material on-site at the compressor station," Fore added.
The purpose of the compressor station is to take the gas from the pipeline and compress it. This allows it to travel faster through the pipeline to its destination.
The interconnects then decompress the gas to help it transfer into smaller pipes eventually leading to the consumer. These stations leave a 25 to 30 acre footprint, he said.