Pendleton residents speak out on gas pipeline

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PENDLETON, N.Y. (WIVB) — Residents aren’t too happy and they’re worried about a gas pipeline expanding in their backyards.

It was a tough crowd of over 300 Pendleton residents who came to the Wendelville Fire Hall Wednesday evening to hear more about Empire Pipeline’s plan to dig up three miles of  an existing 16 inch gas pipeline and replace with a 24 inch line, and build a 22,000 horsepower natural gas compressor off Beach Ridge Road.

Pendleton resident Kelly Monde just bought a home less than a half mile from the proposed compressor site. “From what we can tell, we’ll be able to hear and see the compressor station from our children’s bedroom window as well as the new nursery that we’re planning from that window. It’s turned our dream home into a nightmare situation.”

Sandra Masterson is the Chair of the town’s Board of Assessment Review. She says it’s a ‘no brainer’ that property values will be affected. “This pipeline goes through our town sending its energy to Canada, and all we do is lose quality of life, property values and tax dollars.”

Empire is teaming up with National Fuel Gas on the project to send more gas generated in Pennsylvania to Ontario. The companies say it’s a four hundred million dollar investment that would give the Starpoint Central School district a million and a half dollars each year directly.

Empire Pipeline President Ron Kraemer says people shouldn’t worry about noise from the compressor. “The noise impact from the station is virtually nill. At 1,600 feet from this compressor station with all of the noise controls in place, you will not hear this compressor station.”

This public hearing was called by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which has the final say in allowing the expansion. Pendleton resident Gary Gillman is skeptical. “We’re scared to death. We’re scared to death that they’re just gonna feed FERC whatever they want to and then the implimentation process…who regulates it.”

Resident Karen Sherwood thinks it’s the wrong place for such a project. “This is a residential community but this belongs in an industrial park.”

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will take public comments until May 29, then conduct its own environmental review before rendering a decision by December on whether to allow the natural gas pipeline expansion project.

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