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Proposed XNG project undergoes environmental review

By ANNA MEILER

TOWN OF MANHEIM, N.Y. (WKTV) -- There are a lot of questions about how a natural gas compression station would impact the environment along Route 167 in the Town of Manheim.

The town planning board and town attorney held an open working session Wednesday to hammer out 18 potential impacts.

"They're going over traffic, they're going over air emissions, they're going over hazardous substances used at the site, they're going over impacts to wildlife," said Peter Trimarchi, an attorney for Xpress Natural Gas, the company seeking a special use permit to build the compression station.

The station will be used to draw gas from the Iroquois Pipeline and compress it before it's loaded onto trucks and delivered to hospitals, prisons and colleges.

The public wasn't allowed to comment, but that didn't stop residents from looking on.

"I want to make sure the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed," said Francis Cuda, a Town of Manheim resident.

That's because these questions involve their livelihood. Residents fear a natural gas compression station will be the death of their small town dreams. A life of peace and quiet turned upside down by loud trucks and potential gas leaks.

"It's my child's future not theirs. Are they going to live here? Are they going to move in? Are they going to buy my home? Are they going to pay for our roads?" said Shey Ferguson, a concerned resident.

Residents say Route 167 is already dangerous with part of the road nicknamed 'Dead Man's Curve.'  They say trucks traveling to the filling station creates greater risk.

"I have friends that won't come back from 167 and now they want to add 45 trucks a day. That's 90 trips," said Ferguson.

"If I was on the board and I were to approve this and there was a fatal, tragic accident, I would feel that the blood was on my hands," said Cuda.

Traffic concerns are part of the discussion which will lead to a decision whether or not to conduct a more in depth environmental impact statement. There's no set timeline for that decision.

This is just one step in a long process for Xpress Natural Gas to get that special use permit. The co-founder of XNG will be at the Manheim Town Hall May 14 to answer questions and concerns.

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