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Reno County Residents Fight Proposed Gas Storage Facility

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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A Kansas community is fighting against a gas storage facility they say puts them at serious risk. Because of those safety concerns, they've started a petition and, so far, have signatures from 97 percent of their neighbors.

All of this centers around NGL Hutchinson's project plan for some railroad property on the south side of the Hutchinson Airport.

"There's five different types of butane and propane," explains George Mack as he displays a map of the area.

Mack and his neighbor John Haughsness were surprised to find out that a company called NGL Hutchinson was attempting to purchase land from the BNSF Railroad so they can store the gases above ground. With the gas explosions of a decade ago still very fresh on everyone's mind, Mack started a petition against the deal.

"It'll just wipe stuff out and then all they have is $250,000 insurance and that won't even cover nothing," Mack said. "It'll just run our property value down. Nobody's going to come out here and buy a house after this."

Also upsetting, the residents say they were conveniently left out of the notification zone, which is clearly evident on a map provided to us by Reno County. If it weren't for a legal publication that George Mack just happened to see in the newspaper, he believes nobody would have even known about the project. Haughsness, meanwhile, has been posting signs around the neighborhood alerting everyone to the potential dangers and the public meeting on Monday.

"It's quiet and peaceful and safe," Haughsness says of the neighborhood. "To put something like this within a half mile of most of these houses, the risk factor there is huge. They're wanting to store hundreds of thousands of gallons and transport out of that lot every day."

The public meeting on the NGL project will be in the basement of the Reno County Courthouse on Monday at 5 p.m.


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