Connecting the Northern Loop

Communities north and west of Columbus are thriving. Since the 1990s, we’ve been expanding our system to keep service reliable by bringing gas from the west and south. However, we’re reaching the limits of what’s possible with the existing gas system. A new supply of gas is urgently needed to maintain reliable service in this area.

Our Northern Loop Project will meet this demand by connecting to gas supplies on the east side of Columbus.

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Dublin, Jerome Township, Marysville, and all the communities north and west of Columbus, they're thriving. And for decades, we've been improving our natural gas system to provide the reliable service that keeps the heart of this area beating strong. Now, existing lines just can't keep up. We need new gas supplies to keep service reliable. Without them, the pulse will slow.

Our Northern Loop project will bring more natural gas to serve your home, businesses and schools. As we find the best route, we'll keep you in the loop to bring the gas this area needs. We're keep service reliable and safe, keeping the heart beating strong. Learn more at ColumbiaGasOhio.com/intheloop.


Questions and answers

Are route maps available?

We will share maps when they are developed and submitted to the Ohio Power Siting Board, sometime in 2020.

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What is the timeline for this project?

We hope to receive approval of the project by 2020 so that construction can take place in 2022, with the line going into service by the end of that year.

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Will this project make gas service available in areas not currently served?

We are installing the Northern Loop Project as a way to bring gas from our eastern Columbus system to our western Columbus system. We anticipate that this loop will provide reliable service for existing customers and an opportunity for new communities in the area to potentially receive gas service. At this time, the project is focusing on the transportation of gas, but Columbia will work with interested customers and communities on opportunity for gas service in the future.

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I received a certified letter that says “Notice of Entry”, what does that mean?

In order to identify the best possible route for the Northern Loop project, we will need to do a variety of surveys on properties that lie on or near a possible pipeline location.  State law allows utilities to enter properties for the purpose of performing these surveys, provided we notify you no less than 48 hours and no more than 30 days prior to such entry.  The certified letter you received is simply to let you know that Columbia or our contractor will be sending a crew to your property to perform one of the surveys in the near future.  If for some reason we need to perform a survey after the initial 30-day notice expires, you will receive another notice of entry letter.  If you have specific questions or concerns about these surveys, please email us at intheloop@nisource.com or call us at 1-833-903-1056.

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What kind of survey will you be doing on my property?

We may conduct several types of surveys on properties, and each is done by a different crew. A civil survey crew will consist of two or three people carrying GPS units/tripods. A wetland/waterbody survey crew will consist of two people carrying a GPS unit/pad and a soil auger. If we suspect there may be a wetland on a property, we will need to dig small holes (three inches wide by 20 inches deep) to investigate the soils in the area. The small holes are backfilled with native material when we are complete. A cultural resource survey crew will consist of two or three people carrying GPS units, shovels, trowels, mesh screens, and bucket auger (as needed). If this survey is needed, we may be required to dig test pits (approximately one foot wide and one foot deep) every 50 feet when a visual survey cannot be completed. The pits will be backfilled with native material when we are complete. All types of surveys will be completed on foot, and we will not be driving across any properties.   

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Why is this project needed?

The communities in northwestern Franklin County and southeastern Union County have grown by thousands of customers per year in the last 20 years. We have added new supply lines to bring gas from the west and south to keep natural gas service reliable, but we’re reaching the limits of what’s possible with the existing gas system. A new supply of gas is needed to maintain reliable service in this area.

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How does the Northern Loop project answer the need for new gas supplies?

The Northern Loop project is designed to bring natural gas from pipelines on the eastern side of Franklin County, where supplies are abundant, to areas north and west of Columbus. Several phases of the project have already been completed, bringing the line to Delaware County. The final phase, being planned now, will loop from southern Delaware County to northwest Franklin County, where it will connect to our existing gas distribution system.

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What will happen if you don’t build the Northern Loop?

Companies looking to locate or add jobs may not get the gas they need. Homes will not have the same gas reliability. New offices, schools and stores will compete for dwindling gas supplies. Eventually, it will not be possible to serve new customers in this area.

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Who will review the project?

We will seek approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB).

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What is the Ohio Power Siting Board?

The Ohio Power Siting Board, also known as the OPSB, is a state agency that considers requests for approval of large electric and natural gas infrastructure projects. You can read more about the OPSB at http://www.opsb.ohio.gov.

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What will you do to protect the environment and cultural resources?

A team will identify any sensitive environmental or cultural areas in the vicinity to minimize the project’s impact. Construction will follow regulations from the U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA, Army Corps of Engineers and others to protect the environment.

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What are your next steps?

We will be meeting with property owners, public officials and community members throughout the project. Initially, personnel will be conducting land surveys and meeting with property owners. We will also be preparing our application to be submitted to the OPSB and scheduling public meetings.

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Contact us

Do you have a question or concern? Please contact us. We will respond to your message within two business days.

Have an emergency?

If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, have carbon monoxide symptoms or have some other emergency situation, go outside and call 911 and then call us at 1-800-344-4077.