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Judge Extends Halt on Construction of Fenton Gas Filling Station

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The debate over whether Fenton town officials should have approved a Vermont-based company's project to build a natural gas transfer station in their community played out in Broome County Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon.

After hearing arguments from lawyers from Fenton, NG Advantage and opponents for nearly two hours, Judge Ferris Lebous extended the temporary restraining order on construction and any planning related to the site, pending his decision. 

Lawyers for residents argue Fenton's Planning Board should have required an
environmental impact study before approving the project.

A coalition of residents and members of the community, including the Chenango Valley School District, have asked a judge to review the project and the actions of the Fenton Planning Board, which opponents say rushed through NG Advantage's project. 

Judge Ferris Lebous on June 28 ordered a temporary halt of construction.

At issue is whether planning board members were wrong when they unanimously voted the NG's compressor station wouldn't have a "significant adverse impact" on the environment.

During Wednesday's hearing, Lebous agreed, saying the board should have required NG conduct an environmental impact study.

This vote cleared NG Advantage from having to conduct the DEC's lengthy and costly environmental study known as a SEQR.

Concerns from stakeholders include potential safety and environmental risks of having numerous tractor trailers filling and hauling compressed natural gas within a mile of neighborhoods, schools, a church and parks.

NG Advantage says the practice is not only safe it would be a boon to the local economy, creating as many as 150 full-time jobs and works dozens of temporary construction positions.

Lawyers for NG Advantage assures the safety of the compressor station.

Fox's 40's Jonathan Gordon has been in court and will bring us full coverage with reaction from both sides on Fox 40 HD News at Six.