Tuesday evening, an Omaha-based gas company hosted the first of two public meetings about a proposed Siouxland pipeline. The project has its supporters, but is also fueling some controversy.
A few weeks ago we met Lowell Beermann. He lives north of Homer and was concerned about Northern Natural Gas' plan for a 6.5 mile pipeline. It would pump natural gas from Dakota County, Nebraska to CF Industries in Woodbury County, Iowa. Beermann's issue, the compressor station. It would sit in front of his house, on adjacent property.
"It's approximately 100 yards, 300 feet, from my doorstep," said Beermann.
In the past Beermann's worried the facility would be loud, and pollute. Now, he says it'll devalue his property by up to 50%. That's what brought him to Northern's public meeting in South Sioux City.
"I want to talk to some of the people in charge of this thing, to let them know I've got a serious issue," said Beermann.
Northern officials like Spokesperson Mike Loeffler are listening. He says the line and compressor will meet and exceed federal safety, environmental and sound regulations. He also says plans are in the public input stage. The route or compressor could change locations, depending partly on landowner feedback in these meetings.
"We're going to take these things back. We're going to analyze them. We're going to have our engineers and planners look at them. We're going to make accommodations where we can, keeping in mind we have a variety of interests we have to balance," said Loeffler.
If Beermann had his choice...
"I would like to see this," said Beermann pointing to the proposed compressor station's location on a map. "Moved down here," he said referencing a spot further to the east.
Beermann says he's been told Northern will contact him before the month is out. He'll be waiting to hear what options are on the table and away from his home.
Northern will have a second public meeting Wednesday night at six in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa. It's at the American Legion Hall located at 901 Topaz Drive.
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