Residents concerned by plans for natural gas “gate” station where compressor was first proposed.

Last updated: April 08. 2013 11:26PM - 1464 Views

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WEST WYOMING — Members of the Luzerne County Citizens for Clean Air urged borough council on Monday to attend a meeting to hear a presentation from a representative of the Community Environmental Defense Fund regarding the banning of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas production and related activities.

Because of numerous scheduling conflicts among members of council, a date for the meeting has not been set. Council President Eileen Cipriani assured the group that she would coordinate a date with council.

Although UGI Utilities recently announced its plans to terminate efforts to build a natural gas compressor station in the borough, last month the company applied to the state Public Utilities Commission to install a metering or “gate” station near that formerly proposed site off Firecut Road.

Janice Metzo said her 80-acre property on Firecut Road also abuts the proposed site on the “Talamelli” property.

“I have fresh well water and a pond,” she said. “I am very concerned and would appreciate if council would attend the meeting.”

Councilman Geno Leoni said the meeting, which will be held in the borough’s fire station, should be attended by residents of surrounding municipalities to make the greatest impact.

Councilman Gary Stavish wanted to know the health risks of the proposed metering station and asked for a show of hands from the packed audience to see how many people have natural gas in their homes.

About half raised their hands.

“What are the effects of these buildings that have been here since 1953?” he asked, referring to the gate station near the Wyoming Monument.

He told the group that if they don’t agree with the natural gas drilling activities, then they should ban all household gas use.

“Why is a little bit no good, when what you have now is OK?”

“This gas industry is not your grandfather’s gas industry,” Kingston Township resident Maria Dubiel, whose Bunker Hill Road residence abuts the proposed site, said. “There’s a big difference between (today’s practices) and old horizontal drilling methods.”

Dubiel said she attended Kingston Township’s public work session earlier Monday, during which township officials discussed UGI’s use and maintenance of the roads during the construction of the metering station.

“There’s going to be 67-foot trucks coming up and down the road to get the piping in,” she said. “None of the hundreds and hundreds of residents near there have gas. (The station) is no benefit to them.”

In a related matter, council announced a PUC hearing for public input regarding the proposed metering station would be held at Hose Company No. 1 on May 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Also, a meeting regarding redirecting of traffic during the replacement of the Shoemaker Bridge will be held in the borough building on May 22 at 7 p.m. The new bridge will be constructed sometime in 2014.

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