Natural Gas Compressor Station in My Backyard? You Bet!
Central New York Oil and Gas (CNYOG) is planning to construct a Marc-1 Pipeline compressor station in my backyard. I’m all for it, not only because I work with the industry, but also because I know what it means to the economic livelihood of the area where I live. I decided, for this reason, to offer some remarks of my own at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearing on the project took place recently. The Marc-1 has gotten a lot of attention recently due to efforts by the Park Foundation funded EarthJustice group to target it. These attacks have nothing to do with environmental impacts and everything to do with trying to stop natural gas development from coming to New York State (a story for another day) but I wanted DEP to know the truth about the project and why it’s important to me and my neighbors. Here is what I had to say:
Good evening. My name is Nicole Jacobs and I live in Penn Township, Lycoming County, just a few miles down the road. I would first like to thank you for again allowing me the opportunity to speak at one of your hearings. These events have become quite the frequent happening as the development of natural gas and the infrastructure for this process changes the culture and economic outlook of our local communities. I applaud you for your commitments to not only seek out public opinion on these infrastructural additions to our landscape, but also to provide educational outreach to the communities they will be impacting.
I am fortunate enough to be one of the individuals in the community who was able to obtain employment in this industry, but I am first and foremost a resident of it, as I have been since graduating from Lock Haven University in 2008.
Living in Penn Township we have witnessed compressor stations and gathering systems already in place to transport natural gas from the well head. With the building of the Marc-1 pipeline and potentially M1-S compressor station, we are now seeing a type of infrastructure which this area has not experienced since the Transco line over 50 years ago. It is important to make sure the public understands the difference between these two types of infrastructure and your efforts to ensure they do are commendable.
With 85% of the Marc-1 line willingly leased by landowners, it is apparent that those along this path are ready to get this much needed infrastructure in place to get their gas to market and ensure their royalty payments. The MS-1 compressor station is a necessary part of this system to move the gas through the line. There have been a lot of misconceptions about this project that I would like to take a moment to address.
- The Caterpillar engines installed are state-of-the-art, efficient engines with inherently very low emissions. These emissions are further reduced by the installation of the EMIT catalysts. These controlled engines meet PADEP’s stringent best available technology (BAT) requirements (further detailed below).
- Very low facility-wide potential emissions of all compounds, including VOCs, NOx, formaldehyde (HAP) and methane (GHG). These very low emissions, even based on conservative estimates qualify the station as a minor source for all state and federal permitting programs, including both Title V permitting and New Source Review (NSR). All facility operations are in compliance with federal and state requirements and will not present a concern to health and human safety.
- Noise levels have been monitored and modeled to ensure they will meet all local, state, and federal ordinances. Silencers will be installed on the exhaust of the engines along with the pollution mitigation catalysts.
- The environmental performance of the compressor engines far exceeds that required by EPA’s new source standards based on Best Demonstrated Technology (BDT). In fact, these engines will meet all federal standards and requirements, including stringent NESHAPs, including regulations which were established by EPA at the recommendation of scientific studies on protecting heath from the Clean Air Act Scientific Advisory Committee. Experts worked with EPA to define appropriate standards, which have already undergone federal review and public due process. The compressor station will be in compliance with each of these expert-derived, health-protective requirements.
- As required in the draft permit by PADEP, the proposed compressor station will not generate visible emissions. The proposed units comply by firing clean natural gas and by properly maintaining all equipment. These units will be in compliance with all state requirements even during equipment malfunctions. There is no potential for a dark plume from these units. The proposed compressor station will comply with all federal and stringent state requirements.
- Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX) are primarily emitted by sites that process gas, including dehydration units. The proposed M1-S Compressor Station is solely a natural gas compressor station. The station does not process gas, nor does it include dehydration units. It will not emit any of these pollutants at significant levels.
Thank you for your time and continued diligence in regulating this industry.