WEST WYOMING — Residents from surrounding communities concerned about the effects of a proposed natural gas facility planned for a part of West Wyoming testified about their fears Thursday night at a Public Utilities Commission hearing.
UGI Penn Natural Gas has petitioned the PUC for permission to build a gate station that would measure natural gas from the Auburn Pipeline before it enters the Transco international pipeline.
By using its sister company, Penn Natural Gas, which is a public utility provider, UGI is able to bypass zoning restrictions because a utility directly services its customers.
Held at the borough’s Hose Company No. 2, the hearing brought out residents who stated their fears and worries about what problems the facility may cause.
Raymond Metzo of Firecut Road lives 100 feet away from the proposed site, with half of his property located in West Wyoming and the other half in Kingston Township. He said trees have been cleared to make room for the facility, which includes four structures on a 3.2-acre plot.
He said he not only worries that his property will be “worthless” if the gate station is built, but also about the noise pollution that would accompany it.
“The noise travels in the country like you would not believe,” he said.
UGI spokesperson Joseph Swope said that gas delivered through the proposed gate station will save UGI/PNG customers approximately $11 million from Dec. 1, 2013 through Oct. 31, 2020.
But Bunker Hill resident Maria Dubiel also lives close to the proposed site in Kingston Township. She said neither she nor the “hundreds and hundreds” of people she said she’s talked to who live near the proposed site would benefit from the facility because they are not natural gas customers.
“If this exception is allowed it will open a Pandora’s Box,” she said.
In a prepared statement, West Wyoming Borough Council President Eileen Cipriani stated the borough objects to UGI’s petition to build the structures for the metering station.
“There has been no submission of any kind by UGI Penn Natural Gas that the proposed structures in any way directly result in any convenience or welfare for the public in West Wyoming Borough,” she stated.
A final, evidentiary hearing on the plan will be held in Harrisburg on June 3 and 4.