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Letter: Problems From Pipeline Work Prompted Move

From Lancaster Farming Letters to the Editor.


I just read your editorial, “Hands Full of Gas,” on various gas pipeline projects in the Nov. 28 issue. Thank you for writing honestly about the impact on potential landowners.

I realize the editorial does not allow enough space for many details. My husband, Tim, and I have lived through hell because of the project by Columbia Gas in Monkton, Md.

It is an adjacent pipeline to an already existing one. At some point it will reach into Pennsylvania.

Thus, my need to express to you how abominable landowners will be treated by Columbia Gas specifically and other pipelinecompanies in general.

These companies will say they are going to do everything under the sun to protect your land. They do not. They do less to protect any structures, such as your home.

They inundate with literature and certified letters and meetings, etc. The landowner is told the projects schedule, so you think you can live through their chaos, but no. They change all of it.

We had to move. We were lucky to be able to get out of our house alive as they blasted so close to the side of the house there were cracks in the foundation, walls and ceilings. Still Columbia Gas pays for nothing.

Because of the blasting 24/7, we lost a cat and two birds to the vibrations. Still, not any repayment from Columbia Gas for vet bills. Dogs got sick.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission did absolutely zero to help us. FERC definitely favors the gas companies.

My husband works in a home office as a software engineer for various branches of government, and he could not hear anything in his office but the beep, beep, beep of every single machine they used to destroy the earth — and our house — 24/7.

It is a sound to this day that haunts us and makes us jump. It will never get out of our ears. Your heart will thump after hearing that sound forever. People in the line of fire with these pipelines need to know this. No one discusses these things.

Having lived through it and literally abandoning the house where we lived under great duress, I feel the need to spread information to the uninformed.

I have documented, videoed, recorded sounds, taken pictures and fired a lawyer who was no match to Columbia’s army of 50 or so. And finally, our prayers were answered and last April we moved to a town just over the Pennsylvania line called White Hall, Md.

I was a title searcher prior to rehabilitating ex-racehorses. A colleague and I searched the living hell out of the farm we bought in April, just to be sure a pipeline wasn’t going to ruin our lives again.

We had to file a claim with our insurance company to get the damaged house fixed.

These pipeline companies hire contractors. They literally used the street as their personal parking lot, littered, threw cigarette butts and coffee cups all over the yards, yelled back and forth to each other 24/7 in shifts.

We could not walk our dogs, could not play ball and definitely could not take any dogs off lead in our own 2-acre yard.

These contractors are everywhere. People need to know that. They are ill-mannered barbarians, and the so-called supervisors are never around and never return calls until they know they have gotten away with whatever it is they are doing.

People need to know this.

The land is never, ever the same. The trees die off from the stress. The birds disappear. Various woodland creatures vanish, and your roads don’t get re-paved until you scream and get your district leaders to get on it.

The only place that truly helped us was the office of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. His director, Fran Allen, fought hard for us and we are eternally grateful. She even drove to the house on Saturday to document all the torture.

Heather Ryan
White Hall, Md.


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