Appalachian Basin

NiSource Gives Back to Columbiana County

Another company involved in Ohio’s Utica Shale is stepping up to improve the state.  NiSource Midstream Services donated $50,000 to help the Columbiana County Park District extend a path two miles for the Greenway Bike Trail.  NiSource is currently partnering with Hilcorp on the Hickory Bend Gathering System and Processing Plant, meaning they are heavily involved in Ohio’s growing oil and gas industry and understand the importance of being a good neighbor.

Chad Zamarin, chief operating officer for NiSource, a Columbia Pipeline Group, explained the company’s role in Ohio:

“Our Ohio roots date back more than 100 years. This area is home to us and to many of our employees. We are investing in the Mahoning Valley and committed to lending our support, whether it is through the economic development and jobs that come from our local business activities, or through projects like the Greenway Bike Trail or helping feed the hungry by assisting the local food bank.” —Chad Zamarin

The donation made it possible for the Columbiana County Park District to construct about two miles of bike trail from High Street in Leetonia to Union Street in Washingtonville.  The trail now reaches as far north as it can to meet with the Mahoning County line and the Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway Trail.  The park district’s new goal is to extend the trail south to the Ohio River near East Liverpool.

Dorothea Betz, chairperson for the Columbiana County Park District, explained how the donation helped:

“Extending the bike trail closer to the Mahoning County line has been a goal of ours for some time. Strong corporate partners like NiSource Midstream Services truly make all the difference in these types of projects. Because of their commitment to our communities and dedication to making a real difference in the lives of local families, we have two more miles of trail to bike and enjoy.” —Dorothea Betz

NiSource isn’t alone in their pursuit to improve communities in their operating area. Since development of the Utica Shale began to proliferate just a few years ago, oil and gas companies have been stepping up and donating time and funds to projects throughout the state. For example:

  • BP donated $50,000 to STEM Programs in Trumbull County last fall, encouraging students to get involved in math and science and spark an interest in careers in oil and gas.
  • Anadarko and Chesapeake both provided storm relief last summer by donating generators and helping with clean up.  Chesapeake also donates time to various community organizations each year through their Operation Blue program.  Employees are given four hours of company time to participate in community service. Last summer, Energy In Depth visited two of their sites, including a boy scout camp in Kensington and a park clean up in Wilmot.
  • Halliburton made a lasting impression last fall by donating funds for a new athletic facility and bleachers for Tri-Valley School District.

As more companies get involved in Ohio’s Utica Shale, more communities will see employment opportunities and local improvements.  Oil and gas companies are showing Ohioans they are here to stay and will continue to be a positive presence in the Buckeye State.

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