Pipeline project draws protest in Coventry

COVENTRY – Anti-gas protesters gathered in Coventry Wednesday night to rally against granting a new public utility the use of right-of-ways to run a natural gas distribution pipeline.

The protesters, many of whom were not Coventry residents, began demonstrating peacefully at around 6 p.m., two hours before a hearing was due to start regarding Leatherstocking Natural Gas LLC, a joint venture between Corning Natural Gas and Binghamton-based Mirabito Holding. The company is seeking a franchise agreement with the Town of Coventry, which would allow them to use the public right-of-way along town, county and state roads for the purpose of installing a natural gas distribution pipeline. The pipeline would carry natural gas at a pressure of no more than 124 psi and be buried at an average depth of 30” below the surface.

According to Coventry Supervisor John Phelan, the purpose of the venture is “to get local gas to local industries in a relatively closed loop.”

Mike German, president and CEO of Corning Natural Gas, explained that Leatherstocking intends to purchase gas extracted from wells in Coventry to supply large industrial customers such as Amphenol and MeadWestvaco, as well as schools and municipal buildings. There will also be an opportunity for residential customers and smaller businesses located in proximity to the line to hook into the utility.

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