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Pipeline foes to protest in Wheatfield

WHEATFIELD – Opponents of National Fuel’s $455 million pipeline project to export hydrofracked natural gas to Canada will gather for a protest and news conference at 4 p.m. Friday at the Liberty Drive site of the gas dehydration station approved by the Wheatfield Planning Board.

It’s one of the new pieces of gas infrastructure National Fuel plans to build as part of its Northern Access 2016 project, which will pump the gas from McKean County, Pa., through Allegany, Cattaraugus, Erie and Niagara counties to connect to the Trans-Canada pipeline beneath the Niagara River.

Other projects include two miles of new pipeline and two powerful compressors in Pendleton, as well as a compressor expansion in Elma.

Speakers will include members of the Wheatfield Action Team and the Pendleton Action Team, the Niagara Sierra Club and WECP, which stands for Wyoming, Erie and Cattaraugus Communities Acting on the Pipeline. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will make the final decision on the project, said in July it finds no significant environmental impact from the plan. Opponents say the project crosses 180 streams and 270 wetlands and poses a danger to the health and safety of residents, especially in case of an explosion.

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