State hearings set for natural gas pipeline

By Mark Lungariello for Westfair Online

Residents will have two chances this month to comment on a plan that would expand a natural gas pipeline running through the region, even as ultimate approval seems imminent.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will hold public hearings in Southeast and Brewster on Jan. 21 and 22, respectively, to discuss the proposed expansion of a portion of the Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline from 26-inch diameter pipes to 42-inch diameter pipes. The project would require modifications to compressor stations in Buchanan, Southeast and Brewster.

Susan Van Dolsen, a member of the group Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion, or SAPE, said its members will focus on how emissions from the compressor stations could affect public health and air quality. The group also continues to oppose separate federal approvals and is looking for commitments from federal lawmakers to require more safety analyses before the hoped-for groundbreaking in March.

(View full report here)