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Lebanon board expresses safety concerns over gas pipeline

Lebanon town board members tabled action on a series of road bore requests filed by Nornew Inc connected to a proposed 8.2 mile 16 inch high pressure steel natural gas pipeline Monday after a standing room only public hearing attended by over 40 in which a number of town residents and property owners objected to the proposal and expressed concerns about public safety and environmental impacts to several state Public Service Commission staff members.

Lebanon Supervisor Jim Goldstein, after conducting a public informational meeting that lasted nearly two hours, clarified with PSC officials in attendance that if the town declined to approve the road bore request, that the proposal might be delayed or the proposed route would have to be reconfigured by the natural gas developer. Nornew Inc. representatives have filed documents and exhibits with the PSC which are on line for viewing at the state PSC web site, including Goldstein polled the audience and the large group of Lebanon residents were unanimous in their opposition to the road bore approval at this time due to safety concerns and inspection/oversight questions, as well as environmental and farmland preservation issues.

Lebanon Town Council member Carol King voted to table the resolution, seconded by Council Lois Hartshorn, so the town board will not act on the road bore permit request for portions of town roads including Vosburg, Bastain, Lebanon Center and Lebanon Hill roads until their next board meeting on Oct. 13. Supervisor Goldstein said the town board would be obligated to act at that time according to procedure, but could vote the road bore permit request down at that time, depending on whether or not the multiple questions raised at the public hearing were adequately addressed by Nornew Inc and PSC officials.

Goldstein was informed by PSC Assistant Counsel Ashli Priscott that the comments at the hearing requested by Lebanon officials on Monday would not be formally transmitted to the PSC but would be passed on, and that taking testimony on a proposed pipeline project would require a public statement hearing at which comments would be heard by an administrative law judge and recorded into the record.

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