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Citizens group targets proposed natural gas compressor station in Clinton Township

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Who: Clinton Township Planning Commission

What: Hear a presentation on a proposed natural gas compressor station near Lardintown Road

When: Monday, 6 p.m. workshop followed by regular meeting at 7:30.

Where: Municipal building, 711 Saxonburg Blvd.

Who: Clinton Marcellus Safety Information

What: To discuss health and environmental concerns associated with the compressor station

When: 7 p.m., Tuesday

Where: Saxonburg Memorial Presbyterian Church, 100 East Main St.

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Friday, May 3, 2013, 1:56 a.m.
 

A proposed natural gas compressor station has some Clinton Township residents concerned about what could end up in their air.

A group calling itself Clinton Marcellus Safety Information has scheduled a community meeting for Tuesday to share concerns about health and environmental hazards and decreased property value.

“The lack of safety of the ground water and air relating to various aspects of the Marcellus drilling operation is proven in many locations where they have already drilled,” Sam Edwards said in an interview with the VND last month. He lives about two miles from the proposed compressor station. “We are extremely concerned.”

Edwards could not be reached for further comment Thursday.

Superior Appalachian Pipeline has submitted an application to build a compressor station, which moves natural gas through pipelines, between Sun Mine Road and Lardintown Road on 20 acres of pasture land owned by John and Kathy Allen.

Clinton Township's planning commission will consider the proposal Monday.

The station is associated with Superior's Pittsburgh Mills Pipeline, which gathers gas from several wells in or near Frazer.

The 14-mile line connects with Dominion Transmission Co.'s pipeline.

Ken Magyar, Superior Appalachian's vice president of project development, said the company is required to meet or exceed state and federal environmental standards.

“The compressor station is a clean and efficient operating system that uses natural gas engines with low emissions,” he said in an emailed statement.

Landowner: No harm

The Allens have about 250 beef cattle that graze on several hundred acres in Clinton Township, John Allen said. They also own Armstrong Farms Bed & Breakfast, which received the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Environmental Stewardship Award in 2002.

“We really want to take care of the land,” Allen said. “We have no interest in creating a problem for the land or the community. This is not going to harm the community in any way, shape, or form, as far as I can see.”

Allen said he and his wife researched compressor stations and believe that because of state and federal environmental regulations and technological advances, that the facility will be “really benign.”

Emissions from the unconventional natural gas sector include carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and volatile organic compounds, according to a state Department of Environmental Protection emissions inventory in 2011.

Fifty-seven operators of unconventional wells and 40 mid-stream operators of 150 compressor stations reported data.

The DEP concluded that although Marcellus shale gas activities have increased, emissions from those activities were a small part of overall emissions, which decreased since the 2008 inventory.

In January, the DEP announced new limits for emissions at compressor stations that the department said are 75 to 90 percent stricter than current limits for the largest, most common types of engines used at compressor stations.

Act 13, which regulates the Marcellus shale industry, requires owners or operators of the unconventional natural gas sources to submit an annual emissions inventory to DEP.

Township Supervisor Mary Zacherl said the township has two Marcellus shale wells.

She said the companies, XTO and PennEnergy, have complied with state and local rules.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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