Atlanta Gas Light's (AGL) plans to construct a pipeline station directly in DeKalb-Peachtree Airport's flight path has some residents worried about potential public safety issues.
AGL is constructing the gas regulator station near the intersection of Clairmont Road and Tanglewood Circle.
"We believe the location of the regulator station is safe and we do not have any additional safety concerns," said Annette Martinez, director of external relations for Atlanta Gas Light's parent company, AGL Resources.
Martinez said gas regulator stations reduce pressure in pipeline, and that the project is part of the company's Eastside Pipeline replacement project.
But some residents are worried about placing such a facility so close to an airport, and in a residential neighborhood as well.
"In a post 9/11 world, gas regulator stations either do not belong in residential neighborhoods or should be built in a way that is more protective of public safety," said Lori Muskat, a Clairmont North resident. "With regard to our local situation, however, the more pressing issue is that an entity with such catastrophic explosive potential does not belong in a residential neighborhood in a flight path."
The project will install new steel transmission lines along a 28-mile stretch of pipeline from Riverdale Clayton County to a connection point near the intersection of Buford Highway and Clairmont Road.
"This project is designed to replace some aging infrastructure with more durable material," Martinez said. "We take great care in all phases of a pipeline project. We've been in this business for more than 150 years."
Muskat said AGL hasn't provided local residents with enough information about the project.
"AGL has not been forthcoming about the fact that a gas regulator station is being placed in the flight path of an airport, in a residential neighborhood," Muskat said. "We were not consulted. That information is being tightly controlled by AGL."
"We have done several outreach efforts to affected residents, and we are continuing to do so," Martinez said.
Muskat also cites 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.