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Duke Energy site may make ‘clean’ change

Duke Energy informed the Harrison County Council Monday night of a proposed pipeline which will run along S.R. 111 in southern Harrison County from the company’s Gallagher Station in Floyd County downriver 19 miles, mostly in Harrison County.
Area manager Kevin Hammersmith said almost 150 properties will be affected when construction begins in 2012.
‘The owners will be contacted in the next few weeks,’ he said.
Hammersmith said Duke plans to converge the two coal-initiated units at the plant to a natural gas-fired process after a lawsuit from the Environmental Protection Agency was filed more than 10 years ago.
‘It’ll bring cleaner air,’ he said. ‘There’s a lot of attributes.’
The conversion would reduce emissions at the New Albany electric power plant site and improve air quality in the region, Hammersmith said.
‘During a time of increasingly stringent environmental regulations, the project would help ensure that Gallagher Station can continue to supply energy to the region,’ a Duke Energy press release said.
The switchover and pipeline is not yet official, Hammersmith said, but he wanted to let the county know about the plans because survey work will be done in the next few months and property owners will, no doubt, have questions.
The 20-inch pipeline will transport natural gas from a new interconnection with Texas Gas near Kosmosdale in Jefferson County, Ky., to the plant in New Albany. Duke will bore the line under the Ohio River to Harrison County, southeast of Elizabeth near Rosewood Road. The line will run parallel to the river using existing utility and roadway corridors wherever possible, he said.
The exact pipeline route will be determined by an independent consultant study considering environmental, land use, cultural and engineering factors. The route will need regulatory approvals, he said.
The key part of the process, Hammersmith said, is input from the affected landowners. Duke will first approach landowners who may be affected to discuss the project and gather information about their property. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will also hold public information sessions, if the project moves forward. Hammersmith said Duke Energy will negotiate 100-foot easements.
The tentative schedule has construction beginning in May 2012 and being complete five months later.
In other matters Monday night, Councilman Chris Timberlake, who was absent with an illness, was unanimously voted chairman for the second year. Councilwoman Leslie Robertson was unanimously voted to serve another year as vice chair.
The council unanimously approved $67,000 out of the riverboat gaming funds for work related to the placement of the Rothrock Mill Bridge on the Indian Creek Trail project.