Updated 07/10/2012 06:10 PM
Schoharie residents voice concern over pipeline
State officials discuss the latest plans for natural gas line that would run through Schoharie County. Though they are looking for ways to make the project more acceptable to residents, some still didn't like what they heard. YNN's Maria Valvanis has more.
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SCHOHARIE, N.Y. -- Farmer Epifanio Bevilacqua said, "Who gave them the license to kill us? We should be up in arms like this, we don't want it here."
Schoharie County residents are fearful about what a proposed natural gas pipeline would mean for their community. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wants to run a 120 mile line starting in Pennsylvania and ending in Schoharie County.
"I don't want them in New York State. I don't want them near anybody," said Bevilacqua.
Lawmakers hoping to soothe residents' concerns held a news conference Tuesday. Assemblymen Pete Lopez and Senator James Seward say they are trying to keep the line away from people, telling residents that if it has to happen, the route should run along the I-88 corridor.
"We're here to build momentum to the I-88 option that I think is the least disruptive to local residents to local farming lands," said Senator Seward.
But some residents don't quite agree, saying no matter where the pipeline is put, the entire county's future is at stake.
"We have our political leaders saying oh yah we'll turn it a little bit this way and a little bit that way and then they will tie in and frack this land and make it look like junk," said Bevilacqua.
Farmer Jib Barber, said "The scenic beauty of this valley is one of the greatest assets of this valley and giving up the right to that corridor, anything could be put there."
However, putting the pipeline there will connect abundant amounts of gas to the north eastern markets and bring a potentially huge economic boost to the county, a projected $5 million property tax benefit.
"This community has had to deal with a lot, this whole valley, this region. So our goal is to come together as a community and figure out how we can benefit our future," said Assemblymen Lopez.
Lopez tells us the proposed route is simply part of the pre-filing process. His intentions moving forward are to address the concerns residents are voicing before filing a formal application.