Updated 09/25/2012 10:52 PM
FERC holds meeting on Constitutional Pipeline
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held a forum on the proposed constitution pipeline. YNN's Maria Valvanis has more on what residents had to say about the plan to bring a natural gas pipeline to Schoharie.
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SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- FERC environmental specialist Kevin Bowman said, “We’re here to solicit and hear the public’s comments on what we should be studying.”
Nearly 300 people filed into the Schoharie High School to hear about the proposed constitutional pipeline. If put in place, the nearly 320 mile natural gas pipeline will serve about three million people per day.
"It is an open pipe line and fracking will come to our valley and that will be the destruction of Schoharie,” said Davenport resident Barbara Loeffler.
Schoharie resident Richard Ogsbury said, “It’s the cleanest, cheapest way to move it. In my experience, safest way to transport energy source.”
The proposed route would start in Pennsylvania and end in Schoharie County. If approved, Schoharie County would receive a projected $5 million in annual tax benefits, as well as a short term economic boost, while construction crews are in town.
Chris Staffel, communications specialist for Williams Infrastructure, said, “We'll be bringing in crews that will use hotels, restaurants, using local businesses.”
But some residents aren’t impressed with financial incentives and tell us the pipeline puts the environment and their safety at risk.
Franklin resident Epifano Bevilacqua said, “They’re going to ruin our environment and our air and water and ecosystem.”
Catskills resident Alex Lines said, “They can blow up at any minute. We can have windmills instead. They may be ugly, but they can’t blow up.”
Representatives from Williams infrastructure and Cabot Oil and Gas are expected to submit a final application for the pipe line in January. FERC will then present an environmental statement based on information gathered from the public before they will make a decision.
“We are still very early in the process. We are trying to feel out the situation, feel out the people and find out what the route of the interests are in the areas we see,” said Bowman.