By David Falchek (Staff Writer)
Published: March 17, 2010
Yeah, you've heard that before, but this time it's about pipelines. Without a sprawling circulatory system to draw gas from thousands of wells and channel it to paying customers, the multibillion-dollar industry sprouting over the Marcellus Shale would not be worth a penny.
While the infrastructure may look beautiful to the burgeoning gas industry, advocates and some landowners find the vision blossoming in Broome County less than attractive. A point of dissatisfaction, so far, involves a proposal by Laser Midstream, of Houston, for a 30-mile pipeline connecting well fields in Susquehanna County, Pa., to the Millennium Pipeline - a main artery running through Broome County that serves major markets in the Northeast.
The project would include a compressor station on 20 acres of unspecified Windsor property near the Millennium junction, with three 1,380-horsepower compressors, equipment to purify gas and tanks to collect waste.
Landowner coalitions that favor natural gas development have opposed the Laser Midstream proposal because it brings Pennsylvania gas into their territory. That, they say, could reduce capacity to move gas they hope to someday be flowing from under their land.
Others oppose the project on environmental grounds. Compressor stations, they say, will produce emissions and noise that will mar the landscape and possibly create health risks.
“Every operation to get this clean gas they brag about is dirty,” said Victoria Switzer, an environmentalist and resident of Dimock, Pa., where Marcellus-related drilling is intensifying. Stationary equipment concentrated on parcels to drill, frack and pump gas produces round-the-clock exhaust that fouls the air, she said.
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