EXCLUSIVE | Homeowners being 'bullied' by big gas?

Fighting back against Nexus surveryors

RITTMAN, Ohio -- Some homeowners in Medina County say it may be the clearest proof yet of how they are being bullied by big gas and it is all on video.

Though there are counties across Ohio where natural gas surveyors have the right to go onto private land without an owner's permission, it has not been so clear-cut in Medina County.

A judge there recently gave Texas-based NEXUS the right to survey, but then later blocked that decision over an appeal.

So when surveyors showed up in Jon Strong's neighbor's yard, he called them out on it while recording the episode with his cell phone.

"So why are you there?" he asks. "Well, a, cause the courts you know offered us..." the surveyor begins to reply.

Strong states the judge issued a stay. "I understand that, but we're just following our directives," says the surveyor.

The sheriff is soon called and the surveyors then scatter.

RELATED: Pipeline Under Pressure: Battle over proposed NEXUS route being fought yard by yard  

According to statement from Nexus, the judge's stay only applied to the homeowners who filed that appeal.

Arthur Diestel, a NEXUS spokesman, released the following statement Thursday:

"Judge Collier's stay applies only to the properties owned by the four defendants in the Medina County case. However, because of positions adopted by the local sheriff and prosecutor following the issuance of the stay (which NEXUS does not agree with), NEXUS is not currently attempting to survey any other properties in Medina County where landowners have denied access. NEXUS is continuing efforts to seek voluntary survey permission from landowners in Medina County, however, and will proceed with conducting survey activities on such properties if permission is granted."

Next door in Wayne County, the departure was not nearly as swift. Sticks now mark a line through Gary Adkins' backyard playground, where a pipeline could one day go. The leaves on the trees are yellow.

"Those trees are the reason why we're here," Adkins said. "Now 100 feet of those are going to be gone. Plus property values are going to drop dramatically."

He described it as a case of "David and Goliath" where Goliath won.

"I don't get to use the land now that I purchased," he said. "And I still pay taxes on it."

RELATED: NEXUS Pipeline battle gets heated; goes before judge


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