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.

Jordan Fox February 27, 2013 at 07:50 PM
AGL has 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.
Erica M February 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM
To all. When The Patch reporter walked up, I was speaking about another topic...it was a rare mistake for the Patch. Here's what I learned at the meeting last night: Flight path concern: a brand new QT Gas Station is right in the flight path of the same runway. Corner of Claimont and Briarcliff. AGL station would be across the street. Power line concern: The corrosive effects of the power lines have been addressed per AGL rep. They are using the highest of safety measures. The PSI: it is an average, but is being built in a proactive manner to address new technology and future growth needs, so they won't have to come back in 5 yrs to rebuild and disrupt the community. Chance of explosion: The last explosion was due to 1940 pipeline, not a station, the pipelines they are replacing along the Clairmont Corridor are from 1950. Location: they had 4 sites that would work, only one owner willing to sell. I'm told that this project is not subject to eminent domain. Again, I have more research to do, but AGL seems to be lacking only in communication to the surrounding residents. A town hall style meeting would have served them well as most protesters seemed frustrated by not being heard. No resident wants it in their backyard, no developer wants it on their property when trying to lease space....it's a conundrum.
Jordan Fox February 28, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Erica, A few incorrect statements in your comment: 1) The site for the gas regulator station is NOT across the street from the QT at Clairmont and Briarcliff. It is behind Clairmont North condos and Clairmont Terrace over a mile away. 2) There is a lot that isn't true here and I don't have room to address it all in these comments. The safety of the gas regulator station is the primary concern. The explosive power of gas is potentially catastrophic, especially when it enters the gas regulator station at very high pressures. Thus, if and when a gas regulator station or its transmission lines are ever broken and an explosion results, whether because of natural causes or human action, the consequences can be catastrophic. 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. 3) A gas regulator station is a big safety concern. It doesn't belong in ANY residential neighborhood, nor should it be in the flight path of PDK. Your Civic Association needs to join in fighting AGL on this for the safety of your neighbors!
Cheryl Huvard February 28, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Erica - Similar to you, I was unaware of the dangers of natural gas until AGL set up shop, about 200 feet behind my residence on Clairmont near McJenkins, and cut down four acres of old growth woods for a work area. Since then, the research I have done has convinced me that the planned regulator station is potentially very dangerous and does not belong so close to human habitats. Based upon the drawings drawings for the station, it appears that it has been configured not only to provide a regulator for the gas line, but also to install a branch for future expansion that goes directly through a densely populated area. Incidentally, the pipeline is going directly through the front yards of families who live on Tanglewood, an instance of eminent domain. Please start your research by looking at http://www.naturalgaswatch.org/. It will scare the wits out of you. No doubt most people want the convenience of using gas as a fuel source. No doubt they are unwilling to trade their lives for it. To date, industry regulations have been made by gas utilities because of the revolving door between the two. Gas suppliers will never say anything except that their installations are safe. What else can they say? But it just is not true and there is substantial evidence to prove it. If you believe what AGL is telling you, I have a nice condo next to an AGL installation I'd like to sell to you.
Erica M March 01, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Thanks so much for your additional info, JordanFox and CherylHuvard. I will definitely do more research!
Hav A Brain March 01, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Hi Erica, definitely research more. There are many complexities, which I've been researching for 7 weeks now. Community leaders met with a rep from Public Service Commission Friday, 2/22. AGL has provided no proof of alternate site considerations. They have refused to provide it to residents, to the PSC rep, and to Commissioner Rader. As of now, all they report is hearsay. In fact, info they provided at the open house on Tuesday was different from some of what they told to the PSC rep. Another location was considered, outside of a residential neighborhood, but AGL opted to save money at the expense of public safety. AGL staff did not tell you about the Plano TX resident who tried to blow up their neighborhood regulator station just this past June. Speak to folks in Plano like I have. Ask them how safe they feel living next to a regulator station. Seek information from independent experts. AGL has shareholders to please and profit to protect (i.e., their profit margin was up 54% in 2012). If you want more information, email ClairmontCommunityAlliance@gmail.com. Homeland Security worries about regulator stations as targets of terrorist activity. NTSB Chair Hersman thinks U.S. pipeline safety is inadequate. Learn before you buy into the self-serving propaganda of a privately held company who cares more about their profit margin than about you.
MJ March 10, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Aren't there any zoning restrictions that would be prevent this type of project in a residential area?
Erica M March 10, 2013 at 11:37 PM
Since I've heard that AGL is proceeding, I'm guessing they were able to procure the proper permits, thus within zoning guidelines - good question. Sympathetic to the concerns of the immediate area residents, I asked the Clairmont Comm. Alliance if they checked into their home insurance rates - that might give them a little legal leg if they are skyrocketing. However, worrying about plane crashes and terrorists seems too low of a "what if" percentage to be used as the primary argument - so I'm having difficulty getting fully behind the fight. A pilot who flies out of PDK told me the station would be more dangerous if north of that runway. As to terrorism, the location doesn't seem like it'd be a priority. I do agree that the barbed wire topped fence doesn't seem anywhere close to adequate security and seriously needs to be addressed. Better security would eliminate the disgruntled resident worry. I hope the representatives take a long look at that issue! Good luck to you Clairmont North and Friends!


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