Opposition forms to proposed Binghamton to Syracuse pipeline

Sep 23, 2013

A group opposed to the construction of a new north-south natural gas pipeline that would run from Binghamton to Syracuse is hoping to get its message to landowners along the route before the gas company does.

Millennium Pipeline Company this May proposed building the Upstate Pipeline which would connect three east-west pipelines already in operation.

A small opposition group, called Stop The I-81 Pipeline for the line's parallel path to Interstate 81, will begin its public relations battle this evening with a public hearing at 6:30 at the Center for the Arts in Homer.

The group says the line's path travels through unstable land and environmentally sensitive areas. It has reached out the roughly 150 landowners along the route.

"There are way too many proposed pipelines and infrastructure projects being proposed in New York," said Joe Heath, an environmental lawyer working with the group. "We’re going to get saddled with tremendous environmental danger and destruction whether they ever frack for gas in New York or not."

Millennium says the pipeline will not exclusively carry fracked natural gas.

Natural gas delivery and storage has emerged as a controversial issue in New York, underpinned by intense debate over fracking.

"This kind of proposal, along with things like storing massive amount of propane along Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen are not risks that we should have to take," Heath added.

The Stop The I-81 Pipeline group has received a small amount of money from anti-fracking groups, including Citizen Action, according to Heath.

The Upstate Pipeline is still in early stages and needs several levels of approval before construction would begin.