Hundreds show up at pipeline open house

Hundreds showed up to an open house hosted by the company that wants to build a natural gas pipeline through Lancaster and Lebanon counties Wednesday night.

Williams Partners laid out its detailed plans for residents and even displayed which properties the proposed pipeline would go through.

Four hundred properties would be affected in Lancaster County and 200 properties would be affected in Lebanon County, Williams says.

The venue for Wednesday night’s event was moved several times due to the anticipated crowd. The company finally settled on Millersville University’s Student Memorial Center.

At one point a protest broke out, during which a number of residents spoke out against the pipeline. The opposition to the project has been fierce. Some worry a pipeline near their homes will be a threat to their health and environment.

“It’s very scary, it’s very frustrating. I see our name there, our home, and we see the pipeline right in our backyard,” East Donegal Township resident Denise Wescott said.

Williams says it is in the planning stages and the project’s path is not set in stone. In one instance, they plan on working around a Lancaster County Wildlife Preserve.

“It’s an opportunity for affected landowners to come and find their properties and to point things out to us that we don’t know about, that we can’t see from our mapping, that will ultimately have an effect on the final route,” said Chris Stockton, a spokesperson for Williams Partners. “We are totally expecting that the route we have today is subject to change.”

Some who stand staunchly against the pipeline do not think that is the case.

“We don’t have a say in this. I really don’t think we do,” Wescott said.

Construction on the project could begin as early as the summer of 2016. It is up to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to give the project the go-ahead.

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