A crowd of about 30 community members gathered at St. Andrews Episcopal Church Friday night to discuss a Penn State proposed project to run a high-pressure gas line underneath College Avenue, Bellaire Avenue, University Drive, Prospect Avenue, South Burrowes Street, Beaver Avenue and College Avenue.
The meeting was led by Johan Zwart, an engineer who used a map marked with areas he said would be affected by a pipeline rupture and subsequent explosion. Zwart said that even areas 350 feet from an explosion would experience temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Zwart said that if a rupture were to happen those in the affected range would have 30 seconds to evacuate before an explosion would occur.
However, safety was not the only thing some community members were concerned about. Pam Steckler said that the pipeline is in direct violation of the community bill of rights which was passed in 2011. Steckler said that the pipeline proposal will be a test of whether the community bill of rights will actually be effective in protecting the community.
Many plans were discussed about how to stop the pipeline project from occurring. Joe Cusamano of Ferguson Township said that one plan of action would be to possibly monetarily demonstrate the liability of a possible explosion to the State College Borough Council