Federal Energy Regulatory Commission holds pipeline hearing

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An underground pipeline capable of carrying a billion cubic feet of natural gas a day could pass through the Hidden Lakes area of Dougherty County and many other neighborhoods in south Georgia. Monday night, folks who live near the proposed route spoke out. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held its first hearing on the project tonight in Albany.

"We are here tonight to conduct a public scope meeting where we go out to the community, and ask about their concerns with the project," said John Peconom, Environmental Biologist.

Monday night, many concerned residents raised safety concerns.

"A lot of people asked about alternative analysis, express concern for safety, pipeline integrity, they also expressed concerns about agriculture issues," said Peconom.

Guenevere Perry and her mother Dianne came out to Monday night's meeting, they're worried about the effect the pipeline may have on their property value.

"Some of the concerns that would be more imminent to citizens in the area would be property value," said Guenevere Perry.

Critics say Spectra energy, one of the companies involved in the project, has had three major explosions in Oklahoma, Canada, and Nebraska.  But Andrea Grover with the Sabal Trail Project insists spectra has a good track record.

"Spectra energy really has a good safety record, we have the best in the industry, we take a lot of lessons learned and apply them to our programs," said Andrea Grover, Sabal Trail Transmission.

It'll be next year before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announces whether the project can go forward. The commission will hold hearings in Valdosta and Moultrie Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday's meeting will take place at 6 PM at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Valdosta. Wednesday's meeting will take place at 6 PM at Moultrie Technical College.

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