Compressor Stations Lambasted At Meetings
Month of January filled with public angst
The public outcry over the safety of compressor stations reached a new high in the month of January.
The uproar started on New Year’s Eve in Searsmont, Maine when a gas valve blew just before midnight, releasing around 71,000 cu. ft. (2010.5 m3) of natural gas into the air. The station was shut down shortly after the incident, said Spectra Energy, the Houston-based company that owns the majority shares of the pipeline that runs through the station.
On Jan. 21, about 75 Searsmont residents raising questions during a community meeting about the station’s safety and suggesting that a local attendant oversee the station. The residents also asked for better communication from Spectra.
On Jan. 20, about 80 South Buffalo residents were apprehensive over a proposed natural gas compression station near Ford City Road and Grandview Drive in South Buffalo Township near Freeport, Pennsylvania. Potential noise and air pollution were the top concerns raised by the group.
In Windsor, New York, critics have come out to express concern over the Dunbar Compressor Station, which has caught fire and exploded twice in the past two years, according to a news report. In Jefferson, Pennsylvania, four people raised concerns over increased noise and emissions at a Jan. 21 hearing by the state Department of Environmental Protection on a plan by Equitrans to expand the Jefferson Compressor Station. The expansion consists of a 16,301 hp (12,156 kW) natural gas turbine for increased natural gas compression.
Concerns over noise and emissions also surfaced at Milford Township (Pennsylvania) supervisor’s first meeting of the year. Columbia Pipeline Group plans to replace a 9600 hp (7159 kW) compressor station with one with 13 times the capacity.
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