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Atlanta Gas Light Holds Open House for Pipeline Debate

Residents and company officials met to discuss the controversial project on Tuesday night.

Officials from Atlanta Gas Light met with the public on Tuesday night to discuss the controversial regulator station that the company is building in DeKalb-Peachtree Airport's flight path.

The event was held at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Clairmont Road.

In a story first reported here on Patch, AGL is replacing portions of its so-called Eastside Pipeline. It is also building a gas regulator pipeline station directly in DeKalb-Peachtree Airport's flight path, which has some residents worried about potential public safety issues.

"It's an interesting land-use conflict," State Representative Mary Margaret Oliver told Patch. "I'm glad there's a discussion going on, but people are unhappy for a reason. Safety issues are relevant."

AGL is constructing the gas regulator station near the intersection of Clairmont Road and Tanglewood Circle.

While AGL spokespersons say the station and pipeline are safe, some local residents say the company has not been forthcoming about addressing the concerns of local residents.

Ashford Park Civic Association board member Erica Mymudes said, "you know when everyone keeps saying 'it's great, it's great,' then you know it's not great." 

They also cite recent attacks on similar gas regulator stations in other parts of the nation. Last summer, a man attempted to blow up a Plano, Texas, gas regulator station, which led some residents to question the safety of such facilities. A pipeline safety expert later said that the explosion could have resulted in a deadly neighborhood catastrophe.

Benton February 27, 2013 at 12:34 PM
I live near Lavista and Clairmont I personally know some of the engineering staff at AGL Resources and I have full confidence the individuals working on projects have the safety of Atlanta residents as their number one priority. AGL thanks for keeping my house warm in the winter with your consistent reliable natural gas service. We appreciate your service to our community. Thanks to our support of the Beltline project as well. Keep up the good work.
Jordan Fox February 27, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Benton, I don't know who you know at AGL, but they have handled this situation quite poorly thus far. Our elected officials have publicly condemned AGL for not adequately notifying residents about the project before starting work. AGL has not been transparent with us regarding serious safety concerns about the gas regulator station. They typically either ignore our questions or go out of their way not to answer them. Their contractors have been speeding through local neighborhoods and have caused damage. Perhaps most importantly, placing a gas regulator station in a residential neighborhood in a direct flight path about 2 miles from PDK airport is not safe. This project needs to be shut down immediately and AGL ought to be fined for their unethical conduct.
Hav A Brain February 28, 2013 at 02:03 AM
Benton, I know what you mean. I know some of the pilots at American Airlines (AA). I have confidence that AA's pilots have flyers' safety as their top priority. American, thanks for flying me places that I would not have seen without the miracle of air travel. Who knew that hijackers would board your planes, murder your employees and fly your planes into the Pentagon and the Trade Towers? What a surprise! Atmos Energy in Plano TX got a big surprise too in June when a troubled neighbor tried to blow up the gas regulator station there. Benton, do you know that NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman thinks pipeline security in this country is inadequate? Do you know about Presidential Directive 23? How about the NARUC report on cybersecurity? Benton, I'm sure your friends at AGL love their families and wish for world peace like we all do. But like my friends at American Airlines found out tragically12 years ago, our world has new threats--and new threats require new regulations. Gas regulator stations of a certain type and size need larger right of ways between them and peoples' homes. Homeland Security worries about these stations as potential targets of organized terrorists and troubled individuals. AGL should too. It is inarguable that these stations need to be built farther from peoples’ residences. AGL needs to lead the way in enforcing higher standards of public safety in their decisions about the placement of these stations. Perhaps it’s worth discussing with your friends.
Cheryl Huvard February 28, 2013 at 05:34 AM
Benton - I admire your loyalty to people you know and trust. I have met some of the field personnel who work for AGL and have been impressed by their professionalism. However, these people are not the point of the objections to the AGL regulator station in the Clairmont area neighborhood. Rather, the objection is to placing the station in the middle of a dense residential area. Despite what the industry would have us believe, natural gas is an inherently dangerous substance that requires extraordinary efforts and vigilance to make it safe. And despite every effort and intention of a gas utility, there are still entities that present a clear and present danger by way of physical and cyber-attack. It is unarguable that a deranged individual or a cyberterrorist can cause a disaster of monumental proportions by attacking a gas regulator station. The people who live in the area of the proposed station have good reason to be fearful and to object. While it is true that people like the benefits of using natural gas, it is also true that the industry is self-regulated, that its primary objective is to maximize profits for its shareholders, and that new and more stringent regulations and oversight are necessary in order to meet the threats posed in a post - 911 environment.

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