Activists Discuss Plans to Stop Horseheads Gas Compressor

Regional News

A group of activists gathered in Elmira to discuss a plan to put a gas compressor in the Town of Veteran on Monday. 

It’s part of the Dominion New Market Project to improve access to natural gas for customers in upstate New York. The company plans to transport an additional 100-million cubic feet of natural gas per day through existing pipeline.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation needs to issue an air quality permit for the compressor to be built and residents at the meeting are concerned about the compressors impact on air quality. Activists said the compressors emit neurotoxins, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

While plenty of people are in opposition to the project there are some positive aspects to the plan, but opponents say they could come at a cost.

“As you might know here in Chemung County the towns are really strapped for cash,” said Lisa Marshall, a New York State Community Organizer for Mothers Out Front.

“They’re in quite a serious financial situation and the Dominion company has come in and promised them tax revenue and for that reason the towns are really anxious to see this project be built,” Marshall said.

But Marshall said she has seen instances where Dominion promised tax revenue to residents and then later applied for tax exemption. And that’s not the only discrepancy activists have found, there are also inconsistencies between the NYS DEC’s data for the Veteran area and Dominion’s.

“Phenomenally different,” said Sullivanville resident Linda Finch.

“The Dominion application lost 50 homes, they didn’t indicate that there was a nearby Ridge Road School, they didn’t indicate that there were six group homes for people with disabilities, they didn’t indicate that there were two daycares. There were just numerous omissions,” Finch said.

It wasn’t just Chemung County residents at the meeting–in fact, activists from Orange County and New York City were there to share what they’re doing to protest against Dominion installing compressors in New York State.

At a public hearing last month Dominion officials said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission thoroughly evaluated concerns about safety and air emissions from the compressor. They said the commission found it would have no significant impact on humans or the environment.

For more information from Mothers Out Front NY Souther Tier click here.

For more information from Dominion on the New Market Project click here.

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