NEW SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Don Kretschmann loves being an organic farmer in Beaver County, but now he says that way of life is under threat.
“It’s not the occasional random well. When it starts, it’s going to be everywhere,” says Kretschmann.
Shale gas drilling has come to Beaver County in a big way with rigs sprouting up on farms and open fields.
Now, a company called Cardinal Midstream wants to use a tract of land in New Sewickley Township for building what’s called a compressor, a facility that re-pressures gas along a system of pipelines.
But Kretschmann says its noise, fumes and unsightliness pose a threat to the agricultural way of life.
“Where we live and work is being overlain with an industrial infrastructure,” said Kretschmann. “Just right over the top of us, and you know, all the pipelines and tunnels and processing facilities.”
But in a statement, Cardinal Midstream says they have been “open and transparent” about the need for the compressor and say the impact will be minimal.
The statement from Cardinal Midstream spokesperson Casey Nikoloric reads:
“Compressor stations are not new. There are many thousands at work across the country and have been there for decades. But this is new to New Sewickley Township and so, with that in mind, our intent is to answer all questions and demonstrate that we can and will be a good neighbor.”
While Dean Jenny, another neighboring farmer, has concerns, he says gas drilling has been a boon to the local economy and that gas royalties are actually saving local farms.
“It going to benefit everybody, the United States,” he said. “It’s a natural resource.”