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Orange County Residents Fight Against Natural Gas Compressor Station

Protesters voiced their opposition to a planned natural gas compression station in the Town of Minisink. (credit: CBS 2)

Protesters voiced their opposition to a planned natural gas compression station in the Town of Minisink. (credit: CBS 2)

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MINISINK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Residents in the Orange County town of Minisink have been fighting hard to stop the construction of a natural gas compressor station.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Minisink residents bussed themselves to Washington, D.C., this week, and demanded a second hearing from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

“Families are going to be destroyed over this,” said Minisik resident Carolyn Petchler.

Petchler said a residential area is no place for a natural gas compressor station.

“There’s approximately over 200 families that are within the half-mile, the closest being 650 feet away,” she said.

But the project already has been approved, and construction has started.

“It has passed all safety and health requirements,” said Steve Sullivan of Rockland County-based Millennium Pipeline.

Still, residents remain fearful of an accident.

“We have no police department. We have a volunteer fire department,” Petchler said.

Petchler expressed hope that U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) will join the fight against the compressor station.

And if all legal options fail, Petchler said she will sell her home.

Earlier this month, protesters in Minisink temporarily shut down the work on the popeline.

Some blocked the advance of construction equipment as neighbors expressed their collective defiance with chants of “Who’s town? Our town!”

The protests lasted several days.