By AMY GAREIS     News-Herald Staff Writer

SCIO – A series of public hearings to rezone land for a major gas processing facility in Scio have been set for August.

Members of the North Township Trustees held a special meeting on Wednesday with the Zoning Appeals Board and received the OK to proceed with sessions. Township Trustee Dan Henry said meetings would be scheduled for Aug. 6, 7 and 9 at 7 p.m. at the R.J. Spiker Fire Hall and at least one representative of Utica of East Ohio Midstream LLC would be in attendance.

Utica of East Ohio Midstream, which includes Chesapeake Energy and Momentum (M3), plans to erect a facility on 200 acres along Crimm Road and has already acquired land for its project. The Scio plant, which will be called the Harrison Hub, will be located on what is known as the old Crimm Farm and Reese property and will be a natural gas processing and fractionation complex serving the developing Utica Shale play in eastern Ohio. About $900 million is being invested over the next five years to create the hub and the Kensington processing facility at Hanoverton in Columbiana County. The sites will be connected by a natural gas gathering pipeline and a natural gas liquid (NGL) pipeline.

The Scio facility is anticipated to be three times larger than the MarkWest plant set for the Cadiz/Harrison County Industrial Park. It will also include a series of railcars tying to the Ohio Central Railroad, plus towers ranging from 130-200 feet tall, refrigerated storage tanks, gasoline tanks, a butane sphere, a large flare system to burn off any escaping hydrocarbons and a self-contained fire suppression system. The latter includes a 24,000-barrel water tank to fight the largest potential fire.

See the full story in this weeks print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.