Last updated: October 11. 2013 10:51PM - 1268 Views
JON O’CONNELL joconnell@timesleader.com



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RADNOR — The company that owns the Chapin Dehydration Station, a natural-gas processing plant off Route 309 near Beaumont, has been sold to Texas-based firm Regency Energy Partners.


At a meeting Thursday, boards of directors from both companies unanimously approved the companies sale to the tune of $5.6 billion. Regency is to assume PVR’s net debt of $1.8 billion. The deal is to be closed early next year.


The Chapin Dehydration station is part of the network of PVR’s pipelines and has been known for three incidents in the last two years that have startled residents and farm animals.


A class-action lawsuit ensues against PVR for damages and property value lost by 20 homesteads neighboring the Chapin station. The families affected claim they have suffered emotionally from three unplanned gas and steam releases that sent gas and steam shooting into the air making a jet-engine-like sound.


• In September 2012, an emergency shutdown prompted fines from the Department of Environmental Protection when it was not reported to the agency.


• On Black Friday, a few months later, a gas release woke the community as gas burst into the air.


• A valve malfunction caused a steam release in June which blew into the air for about 20 minutes, alarming residents and emergency responders.


A dehydration station removes moisture and refines natural gas before it enters pipelines on its way to distribution to consumers.


Some residents claim their health has suffered with symptoms like frequent nosebleeds. More say their property values have plummeted because of the industrial plant near their homes.


PVR bought the pipeline, a metering station, a compressor in Wyoming County and the dehydration station from its original builders, Chief Oil & Gas in May, 2012 for $1 billion.


PVR officials say under the agreement terms, PVR stockholders are to receive 1.020 common stock units of Regency stock for each PVR unit held.


Stockholders also are to receive a one-time payout totalling $40 million for all stockholders at the deal’s closing.

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