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Bergen County Residents Concerned Over Natural Gas Pipeline

(file / credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

(file / credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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RIVER VALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Questions are being raised about plans to increase the amount of natural gas running through a pipeline that travels through six towns in Bergen County.

“We are concerned, especially since this was done without any transparency,” River Vale Mayor Joe Blundo, whose home is just two blocks from where the Williams Co. natural gas pipeline runs, said.

The company reportedly wants to increase the pressure 27 percent, still within federal guidelines, to transport gas from fracking operations in Pennsylvania to the Gulf Coast.

In a statement, the company said the proposal is in the “preliminary planning phase.”

“The scope of the proposal is still being defined,” spokesman Chris Stockton said. “We are still talking to customers to determine what the scope of this project will be.”

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The 10-mile-long, 56-year-old pipeline runs underground past the Oradell Reservoir — a drinking water source for millions — and through densely populated areas such as Old Tappan, Harrington Park, Emerson, Oradell and Paramus.

“If they’re going to be doing something to that pipeline they haven’t told us anything and we need some assurances that anything that they do is going to be safe,” Blundo said.

Blundo said residents have a right to know the danger lurking beneath.

“I am fearful that someday there’s going to be a tragic event that’s going to affect everyday folks living in their homes,” Blundo said, adding when you’re dealing with natural gas you’re playing with fire.

The plan requires federal approval.

“I don’t know if there’s anything they can say that would make me rest easy that it’s completely safe,” Blundo said.

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