PENDLETON, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Town of Pendleton is a quiet residential and farming area of Niagara County–just beyond the first ring suburbs. So when townsfolk got wind of National Fuel’s plans to build a pipeline and massive 22,000 horsepower compressor station in Pendleton, they geared up to take on the big gas company.
Homeowner Paula Hargreaves is concerned about the project’s effect on their quality of life.
“It’s the ruining of our property values, the ruining of our health, with the noise, with the smells, with the vibrations, and it’s ridiculous,” she said. “That is what we are fighting for.”
The immediate area for the gas line and compressor station directly affect residents in the Aiken Road and Bear Ridge Road area, and the neighbors suspect the environmental impact–fumes and noise–could be substantial.
Homeowner Barb Ciepiela lives less than a half mile from the former Christmas tree farm where National Fuel is planning to build the compressor.
“I have allergies, and basically the environmental concerns–there’s a lot of animals right around the corner,” she said. “There’s horses, there’s llamas, there’s horses in my backyard.”
Gary Gilman is concerned about the compressor station’s potential health effects.
“Right now, the air quality is pretty good,” he said. “The noise quality–you hear some birds, you hear some cars going by, it’s great. I don’t really want to get sick.”
But the Pendleton gas line and compressor station are just part of National Fuel’s massive $451 million infrastructure expansion, called the Northern Access Project that includes a 100-mile pipeline from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to Niagara County.
Ron Kraemer, VP of National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., is assuring Pendleton residents, noise from the compressor station will be minimal, and exhaust emissions will be within safe levels.
“It is just the combustion of natural gas” Kraemer said. “That is the only emission from a compressor station, is the combustion of natural gas–the same sort of emission you would have from a furnace in your house.”
The neighbors also pointed out where all the gas going through the compressor station might be going, saying why give up their quality of life, so National Fuel can pump that gas to Canada?
Kraemer said about a fourth of the gas coming from McKean County, PA, is going to National Fuel ‘s compressor station in the Town of Wales, and the rest does go into Canada, into a natural gas distribution grid, and on to other areas of Canada and the U-S.
Neighbors can find out more next Wednesday, May 20, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds a scoping hearing at the Wendleville Fire Hall on Campbell Blvd. in Pendleton.