National Fuel kicks off new campaign for Pendleton compressor


PENDLETON, N.Y. (WIVB) – The yard signs saying “Stop NFG Compressor” are everywhere: Pendleton homeowners are making their feelings known about National Fuel’s proposed compressor–a 22,000 hp turbine-powered compressor.

Ann Paglione, whose Ridgeview Heights subdivision is less than a half mile from the site, put it simply, “I wish they would just do one thing, which would be, do the right thing–take it out of our neighborhood.”

Officials from National Fuel believe that when the neighbors know the facts about the high pressure compressor they will be less resistant, so they set up an all-day series of information sessions at the Wendelville Fire Hall to try to set the record straight.

The compressor is a joint project of pipeline owners, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire Pipeline, Inc., both are National Fuel Gas subsidiaries.

Ron Kramer, president of Empire Pipeline led the presentation, including question and answer sessions with the neighbors, “Show what commitments we are making to the community on noise, on aesthetics, on vibration, on air emissions.”

The compressor project is critical to the success of a $451 million pipeline, and would be located on a 20-acre former gun club site on Killian Road, that would pump natural gas from National Fuel’s shale fields in northern Pennsylvania, through a new high pressure National Fuel Supply pipeline, and into an existing Empire line, through Niagara County, and into Canada.

Neighbors, such as Tom Kolacz, are cynical, “My concern is the pollution, the noise–not basically for me, but for the people that live a lot closer than I do.”

Ann Paglione lives in a housing subdivision where homes sell for $250,000 to $500,000, and is worried about health effects on older neighbors and children.

“Primarily we are concerned about the emissions–there’s all kinds of toxins that will be released into the air. There’s noise pollution, light pollution. We are also concerned about the dust.”

Officials from National Fuel say, the compressor station will not be lit up, emission control equipment will hold down exhaust pollutants, and the noise? Kramer said the closest homes will barely hear a thing when the compressor is in operation.

“These are virtually whisper-quiet. At about 1,400 to 1,500 feet there is no increase in background noise level from these.”

That site on Killian Road is actually National Fuel’s second choice. The first one on Aiken Road was withdrawn because it was in a more residential area. The Killian Road property is zoned light industrial.

National Fuel is planning another forum in November, then federal energy regulators will be setting up a hearing similar to a session back in the spring for the previous location on Aiken Road.

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