Manheim Uproar

Manheim Uproar

The community of Manheim in Herkimer County is up in arms over a proposed natural gas filling station that could be coming to their back yard.

The concerns by the people at the meeting are twofold:

The first is the environmental impact.  The second is how the whole process is being handled.

Larry Sekel lives around a half mile away from the proposed site.

He's also worked for a firm for forty years analyzing chemicals like the kind the proposed site would produce.

"I truly believe it does not belong in this area," said Sekel.

His major concern of the project is the environmental impact.

"As of my studies I've learned that various elements of natural gas carry other contaminants with it at the source where this would be compressed," said Sekel.

He said some of those chemicals include arsenic and benzene, which he says can be repertory irritants.

"They're inhaled and they're in the air where you're working and they could be passed through the wind depending on how much is released," said Sekel.

The company proposing the project, Xpress Natural Gas, said the emissions of the site would be insignificant.

"We've quantified what the emissions are and they don’t rise to the level of requiring an air permit," said Xpress Gas Chief Administrative Officer Seth Berry.

Many people at the meeting are upset over the process of how the situation is being handled.  Xpress natural gas said they're not doing anything wrong.

"We're going through that town statutes and planning board and zoning board require," said Berry.

People like Larry said they just want to see more research done about the possible dangers.

"All you have to do is assess different filling stations throughout the country, whether it be Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland. They do have these sites and they've had problems with respect to releasing certain inhalants," said Sekel.

This controversy is far from over as the plans for the project continue to move forward with the Manheim planning board.

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