SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An online public hearing was held Wednesday on a controversial gas pipeline.

The purpose of the hearing Wednesday was to gather public opinion on the installation of an additional natural gas pipeline running from Longmeadow to Springfield.

Members of the public were able to voice their opinion at an online hearing about a proposal by Eversource to construct a new gas pipeline running from Longmeadow to Riverfront Park. This new gas pipeline would run near and existing one that is 70-years-old.

“How will the pipeline impact traffic patterns of the school? How will the accessibility of the school and grounds be impacted? what are the potential safety and health risk for staff and students?” asked Nicole Choiniere, from Longmeadow.

“This is project that was identified as one of the priorities in the state. You’re actually talking about something like 200,000 people relying on getting their power through an aging pipeline so what we would like to do for reliability is to put this new pipeline in,” Priscilla Ress, Eversource Spokesperson told 22News.

The pipeline would start by the country club in Longmeadow and run to Riverfront Park. The project is set to cost $65 million, a cost which will be absorbed by Eversource customers.

Those who oppose the additional pipeline say the project will have negative consequences on people’s health and the environment. Members of the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition have cited how methane gas can exacerbate respiratory and is a harmful greenhouse gas. They also mention the dangers of natural gas as seen through the Columbia gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley. The hope is members of the energy facilities sitting board will hear them out Wednesday night.

“It is one of our only chances to make our voices heard and we are hopeful that in the future the energy facilities siting board will actually care about the people and not the just the profit margins of fossil fuel organizations,” said Naia Tenerowicz, Organizer, Springfield Climate Justice Coalition

Public comment both for and against the project will be accepted until January 17th.