Appalachian Basin

A Less Than Impressive Natural Gas “Protest”

There was a small protest in Minisink, New York last week over a Millennium pipeline compressor station. The Millennium delivers much of the natural gas used in homes and businesses in Orange County.

There was a protest of under 100 people against a Millennium compressor station in Minisink, New York, Orange County last week  in a yard across from the site. Of the 100 people present, about a quarter of them were parents who were brought along their children. The main message of this rally was the compressor station was not needed, despite the large amount of natural gas it delivers to homes and businesses in the county.

Some Facts About the Millennium

The Millennium compressor station will benefit many communities both directly and indirectly, by helping to push natural gas through the pipeline and out to the markets with a demand for the natural gas, including those in Orange County. Here is what the company said about the station:

This pipeline will increase the supply of natural gas flowing into Northeast markets and thereby help to keep down natural gas prices. In addition, by providing the fuel for highly-efficient natural gas powered electric generating facilities and commercial and residential boilers that would otherwise operate on coal or oil, this project is helping to provide cleaner air.

Having a compressor station in Orange County will also increase the efficiency of the transportation of natural gas development.

Add compression in Orange County, NY that will effectively increase deliverability at Ramapo to 675,000 decatherms per day. Adding compression increases capacity by compressing the gas in the existing line. Compressed gas does not take as much space in the line, thus allowing additional volume to be safely transported. This type of expansion is ideal because it allows Millennium to customize its services to meet its customer’s needs without installing additional miles of pipeline. This environmentally sensitive project is designed to maximize benefit to Millennium’s customers while minimizing impact to its host communities.

The compressor station would consist of two 6,130 horsepower turbine-driven centrifugal compressors housed in an enclosed building. These would increase the pressure in the pipeline. Millennium Pipeline Company has noted that they will operate quietly due to specific engineering and they will be powered by natural gas which will be cleaner for the environment. The compressor station must comply with all state and local noise ordinances which means it will not exceed 55dB(a) at the property line. It will be monitored from the control building 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The project is also strictly regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

This compressor station will be a job creator for the local area as well. Not only will there be someone monitoring the compressor station around the clock, there will also be a full-time, 40-hour-per week staff on site. If there are any fluctuations in the monitoring systems the compressor station can be shut down in seconds. An added security will include an eight foot fence, security cameras, and an alarm system.

Compressor Station

Minisink Compressor Station Location

Here’s some more information on the economic benefits that this project will deliver:

The construction process for this project is expected to take up to nine months and employ 75 workers at peak. Millennium is committed to working with local labor to the wherever possible to staff these positions. Once construction is completed, this project will create on full-time on-site job. The total estimated investment for this project is approximately $43 million. In addition to the direct jobs created, this investment will also provide increased spending at local businesses (lodging, restaurants, equipment, etc.)

The Protest

So, why were people protesting such a major investment? Well, you wouldn’t really even be able to tell what the protestors were protesting based on their chants. Their main chant was “Who are we? Minisink. What do we want? Justice.” Not only did they chant this over and over, they also harassed the workers the entire time. They were screaming across the street at the workers, “you should be ashamed of yourselves.” Watch their outrageous chanting below. Notice that the leader thinks there are 200 plus people behind him:

In the video below you can hear the ringleader, again, harassing the workers but also claiming the compressor station will poison the water and kill people. Obviously there are no facts, figures, or statistics supporting this claim.

The last video I will include you can hear the leader of the protest criticizing Millennium for putting people to work on their site and also for hiring people in the neighboring town to Minisink. Sounds terrible right? I would love if our neighbors were able to work. A community should embrace jobs:

The rally continued for a while with the same chants and harassing comments, but the videos above give you enough of the picture.

The compressor station clearly has the ability to create jobs, and indeed is already employing people. This fact was even admitted by the protestors who oppose the compressor station. Safety is extremely important to Millennium and they have taken several steps to ensure public safety, including complying with strong local and federal laws. People seem to be protesting this just to protest something — despite using the very product they are attempting to stop, as is the case all too often.


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