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UPDATE: Washington County Residents Keeping Natural Gas Service A While Longer

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Updated: 10/09/2013 1:00 A.M

Some Washington County residents get to keep their natural gas service a while longer.

One of those residents, Chuck Nonnenmacher, tells us the Ohio Public Utilities Commission has told Eureka-Hunter it can not shut off the natural gas line before the issue is resolved.

The pipeline serves about two dozen customers from Stanleyville to Waterford.

Eureka is a natural gas drilling company which wants to get out of the pipeline transmission business.

Nonnemaker says a negotiating session is set for October 24th at the PUCO's offices in Columbus.

If a resolution isn't reached, the commission could make it's own decision on the issue.

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We've heard of issues with natural gas pipelines before, but this is a bit different.

It involves some area homeowners who face losing a pipeline, as well as their natural gas service.

This is a pipeline which runs roughly 20 miles from just outside Marietta to Waterford, serving more than two dozen homes.

In part, because of that very small number, Eureka Hunter informed residents last spring that the pipeline would be taken off line.

That's now set to happen November first.

It's left homeowners scrambling to find other providers, in most cases, with other types of fuel and at greater cost than they've been paying for natural gas.

"There are people, of course, on this line who are on fixed incomes. And that makes it difficult for us. We're just totally frustrated by this whole process," says homeowner John Biehl.

"We are working with two different pipeline companies who have stepped up," says Dan McCormick, Vice-President of Operations for Magnum Hunter. "There are two pockets of homeowners who have stepped up, and are in the process of transitioning to these two natural gas service providers."

Eureka Hunter, which is an affiliate of Magnum Hunter Resources, acquired the pipeline in 2010 as part of a bankruptcy proceeding.

It is looking to get out of the utility business.

Biehl told us he is concerned about the safety of other types of heating fuel, including that of propane.

That's one option homeowners in that area are being offered.


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