GREEN Green City Council unanimously approved a resolution May 2 to enter into an agreement with McMahon DeGulis, LLP, a legal services firm specializing in environmental law, to assist the City and City’s law director with a plan to continue to oppose the approval of the Nexus pipeline through the city.
The approval marks the second such piece of legislation passed by council, having previously pledged $10,000 to the grassroots Coalition to Reroute NEXUS (CORN) group.
Council members cited both the potential negative economic and environmental impacts the proposed pipeline route could bring.
"I think, fundamentally, we are stewards of this earth and we owe it," said Ward 4 Councilman Skip Summerville. "We have to stop disturbing these sensitive areas."
The legislation authorizes the city to spend up to $100,000 for services rendered. Council President Chris Humphrey said he is confident in the abilities McMahon DeGulis, LLP, which has offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.
"They have a tremendous reputation not only in Ohio but nationally, and I am confident they can defend us and help us fight this pipeline," he said.
Humphrey cited a recent study that found the pipeline project brings a potential $120 million to $150 million economic impact on the city over the next 30 to 50 years, in addition to the potential environmental impacts.
"This legislation signifies the commitment of city council, the mayor and the administration and how seriously we (take the issue of) this pipeline coming through our city," he said. "And I hope it sends a message to Nexus to reconsider the route and take the route of common sense, the southern route the city has proposed."
Councilman At-large Stephen Dyer concurred that it is the city’s hope to not only oppose the pipeline through the city, but to work with Nexus on ways to realize that better pipeline route.
"I support not just keeping the pipeline out of town, but helping to reroute it," he said.