A hearing on Wednesday in Broome County Supreme Court may decide the fate of a proposed natural gas transfer station in the Town of Fenton.
The company NG Advantage wants to build the station in Fenton, which is just north of Binghamton.
Separate lawsuits from residents, a church and the Chenango Valley School District say the company and the Town didn’t follow the right procedures. They also question the reliability of safety reports and environmental impact studies.
Maeve Tooher is a lawyer representing the school. She said the judge told both sides he’d have a decision soon. "We’re pretty confident in our position," she said. "He did continue the temporary restraining order so we appreciate that, and we think we will eventually be successful.”
That temporary restraining order is currently in place. It prevents work on the station until the judge makes his decision.
Meanwhile, residents said they continue to learn more about natural gas transfer stations. "The amount of support and drive that the community has had has been phenomenal," Michael Weaver said. "And I think a lot of kudos goes out to the community as a whole to get us educated, to get us where we are today."
Rico Biasetti, CEO of NG Advantage, wasn’t so sure the plaintiffs will be successful overall. Biasetti said one way or another, vehicles carrying natural gas are going to be around this area. "Whether it’s us or whether it’s a competitor of ours," he said. "These trucks are going down, these trailers are going down your roadways everyday. There’s 100 a day, without us, that are going right by that school.”
Biasetti said the fact that much of this is over procedure is frustrating, especially since he said he gave information about the station at open meetings leading up to the approval.
“The planning board and the zoning board, they’ve asked all the same questions the residents are asking. They’ve asked all the same questions the county’s asked and from what it sounds like, it just might not have been filed properly," he said.
Biasetti added the delayed approval will force NG to miss it’s open date. That was supposed to be in November.