Update on NG Advantage Virtual Pipeline near Binghamton

What’s the latest with the proposed virtual pipeline in Broome County, NY? NG Advantage wants to build a “virtual pipeline” operation in a suburb of Binghamton. The location NG picked, after considering up to six locations in the region, was selected because of it’s proximity to major highways, proximity to the Millennium Pipeline, and availability of high-power electric lines. A virtual pipeline is nothing more than a compressor plant (series of compressor plants) that grabs gas from a pipeline, in this case the Millennium, and compresses it and loads it onto special tractor trailers that then deliver the gas to industrial customers like manufacturing plants, hospitals, and even small regional gas distribution systems servicing residential homes. The location NG selected, in the Town of Fenton (within spitting distance of Hillcrest and Port Dickinson) was approved by the Town of Fenton after a detailed review. The area they selected is zoned industrial and is, in fact, a former dump site. However, residents from nearby neighborhoods (Hillcrest and Port Dick) were not aware of the project (so they claim) and when construction began to clear the dump site, and residents learned what was going to be built at the site, some of them demanded court action to oppose it. So far we’ve had two court cases asking county-level court (called “Supreme Court” in NY) to stop the project, which it temporarily has. And there we sit–waiting on a local court. When traveling through the neighborhoods near the site you see plenty of “No Compressor Station” signs. Ask any of the locals why they oppose it and the issue pretty much centers on truck traffic. The plant itself is safe. It doesn’t emit anything in the way of air pollution. It’s quiet–running on electric motors. The only thing people have to complain about is 3-4 trucks an hour going in and out of the plant. That’s it. But that’s enough to warrant a major fuss. The very latest is that State Senator Fred Akshar and Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, both of whom represent people in the Town of Fenton, visited the NG Advantage facility in Vermont last week–a facility similar to the one proposed for Fenton. They wanted to see it for themselves. Neither rep really has a say in what will happen in Fenton (the matter is in the courts at this point), but at least they informed themselves about the issue and can talk, rationally, with some of their irrational constituents…

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