CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — On one side, there were residents who fear a catastrophic explosion. On the other side, there were hard hats hungry for jobs.

Hundreds of people packed a hearing Monday night as federal regulators consider Spectra Energy’s plan to expand portions of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline through parts of Rockland and Westchester counties and Connecticut, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.

Spectra wants to replace portions of a 26-inch pipe with a 42-inch line. The company says the larger pipe is needed to meet the ever-growing demand for natural gas in New England and keep costs low.

Susan Van Dolsen, who co-founded the grassroots group Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion, is among those arguing that the pipeline would be too close to the Indian Point nuclear power plant and homes.

“So there’s a replacement of 20 miles total, but there’s a whole new segment,” she told Adams. “That’s the biggest area of concern.”

Van Dolsen is calling for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to conduct a full risk assessment on the proximity of the pipeline to Indian Point.

Spectra Energy pointed to its safety record. A spokeswoman also said the company always looks to work with property owners.

Union laborers, meanwhile, showed up to the hearing in force saying infrastructure investment is good for the economy.

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