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Betsy’s Corner: Attend the Gas Public Hearing on March 27

Come one come all! Bring your friends and neighbors! Finally, after a long wait, we are happy to report that the Public Hearing by FERC will be held in the Longmeadow High School auditorium on Wednesday, March 27 at 7 p.m.

This meeting was originally scheduled in the Boston area, but local climate activists complained that the proposed gas expansion in Western MA should be a Western MA issue for Western MA residents to speak out about! This is the time to TAKE ACTION!

There is an Agawam Gas Compressor Station that would connect to a new facility here in Longmeadow. What do you think of having a metering station and pigging facility in a residential area? Is Wolf Swamp School too close to the proposed site on the Longmeadow Country Club Grounds? This situation effects not only Longmeadow and East Longmeadow, but Agawam, Enfield, Springfield and far beyond.

Long term or short term, the impact of increased gas infrastructure development within our town of a metering station will not help to stop or slow down global warming. Natural gas is odorless and colorless, but methane is produced as we burn the fuel to heat our homes and schools. The information is out there for us to read and research! Make yourself an educated person on methane and its disastrous implications for human health! Be aware! If you smell a rotten-egg like smell it is the mercaptan that is added to the odorless gas. Report all gas leaks as soon as you are aware of them.

Natural gas lines were added under our roads long ago, and the metal pipes are corroded and cracked in some places. New plastic pipes are replacing the old infrastructure to make gas distribution safer and efficient. This work is part of the Columbia Gas Reliability project, now on hold.

I urge all concerned citizens in the area to attend this meeting on the last Wednesday of the month. Alternatively, if you cannot attend please write Mr. Stephen August the presiding officer of the EFSB (Energy Facilities Siting Board) via email: Stephen.August@mass.gov or Energy Facilities Sitting Board/DPU Siting Division, Attn: Stephen August, Presiding Officer, One South Station, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02110

Your comments must arrive by Friday, March 29 at the latest.

Each person in attendance on March 27 can speak for 3 minutes about the proposed gas metering station. A prepared statement can be read or a speech can be said but time is limited. We already have a metering station close by in East Longmeadow near the new Bay Path Science Center, and there is a gas value station in The Meadows.

Do we need or want more natural gas? Is this the best for the people of Western MA and the environment? You decide. The next LPAG Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group Meeting will take place the following evening on March 28 at the Greenwood Adult center at 7 p.m.

– Betsy’s Corner is a guest column submitted bi-weekly by Longmeadow resident Betsy Huber Port. Opinions in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the Longmeadow News or its staff. Opposing viewpoints are welcomed and encouraged. Please email your submissions to pressreleases@thelongmeadownews.com.