Opponents of the Northern Access Pipeline call on officials to stop project


WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) — Opponents of the Northern Access Pipeline held a news conference on the side of Liberty Road in Wheatfield. They chose that spot because it could soon be home to a recently approved facility that would be owned by National Fuel.

Opponents of the project are against it for a multitude of reasons. But they say some of the biggest reasons include safety, the environment, and little to no notice of what was coming to their backyards.

Dozens of opponents of the controversial pipeline project gathered in Wheatfield on Friday afternoon. They called on state and federal environmental agencies, and Governor Cuomo to stop the project. The group cited reasons of safety, health, and environmental concerns.

Diana Strablow, one of the speakers at the conference, said, “There’s 97 miles of pipeline that they’re proposing to build from Pennsylvania to Elma New York.”

In the project, opponents say the Wheatfield Town Board recently approved a dehydration facility near the railroad tracks on Liberty Road.

Opponents say the facility would be too close to railroad tracks in the event of an accident, and they got little or no notice of meetings..

Kim Alianello of Wheatfield, said “They’re not having all of these meetings that they’re talking about, when they do have a meeting they just belittle the people that actually ask questions and we just want to be healthy and find out what’s going on.”

National Fuel responded to the criticism and also rejected the claims that they only gave residents little to no notice.

Karen Merkel, the Director of Corporate Communications for National Fuel, said, “As far as the public notification of this project, this project has been discussed in the public arena for more than 2 years now.”

Merkel also says there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding the project “The propaganda that the activists continue to focus on, is not representative of our project, our operations, our safety record, or our industry expertise.”

For more information on the project, go to: http://www.natfuel.com/supply/NorthernAccess2016/default.aspx

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