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NYSEG Pipeline Has Tompkins Co Residents Concerned

NYSEG Pipeline Has Tompkins Co Residents Concerned

FREEVILLE, NY (WENY) - NYSEG is getting some pressure from people in Tompkins County who want answers about a pipeline project that would run through Lansing and Dryden.
     "No need for new gas. No need for new gas. No need for new gas."
     This was the stance of many but not all at the NYSEG open forum at Freeville Fire station.
     But all were looking for answers about the 7 mile, 10 inch pipeline that would run along West Dryden and Farrell roads.  
     Wondering how this will help or about the possible dangers.
     "There are potential risks," said Joanne Cipolla- Dennis, who is against the gas pipeline. "And if we don't want to take that risk.. A land owner or homeowner. Or someone who actually rents."
     And some feel they haven't been told everything.
     "The first information we received about an easement is they were going to require a 100 ft easement for the pipeline," said Deborah Cipolla - Dennis, West Dryden resident. "And tonight they are saying they would only require a 15 ft easement. That's a huge significant difference."
     And requiring those legal documents from landowners is NYSEG's first step.
     The utility says natural gas distribution in the Ithaca area is at capacity, so it's time for an upgrade. 
     But even if NYSEG doesn't get landowners permission, it could legally go on with the project. 
     "It's really premature, I think to talk about eminent domain at this point," said Clayton Ellis, Manager of Public Affairs at NYSEG. "We believe it could be used for this project but we really want to work with the property owners to obtain the easements."
     NYSEG says this project, would offer natural gas to those who want it.
     "Natural gas is clean, it's economical, much less expensive at this point than propane or any other heating fuel," said Ellis.
     And that's just what some residents are looking for.
     "It says that the state could be all renewable by 2035... Ok that's still 20 years away," said Michael Sigler, Tompkins County Legislator. "In the meantime we should be making the switch to natural gas.
     Now, If NYSEG gets the go ahead from landowners, construction would begin in Spring 2015.