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Pollution controls to be upgraded at Butler County compressor stations

| Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 1:46 a.m.

Mountain Gathering will install more effective pollution controls on two Butler County natural gas compressor stations under a settlement agreement with The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP).

In May GASP, a Pittsburgh nonprofit environmental organization, appealed the state Department of Environmental Protection's air permits for compressor stations on Saxonburg Road in Jefferson Township and on Powder Mill Road in Forward Township.

Each facility includes eight natural gas compressor engines, three process tanks, one flare and one dehydrator.

The additional pollution controls will reduce carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde emissions at each facility.

“The point of this is to make sure DEP and industry is accountable and they're doing the most possible to protect residents that are living near these facilities,” said Lauren Burge, GASP staff attorney.

No one from ExxonMobile, Mountain Gathering's parent company, could be reached for comment.

Burge said GASP reviews many permits, especially for compressor stations.

“We've had a number of (permit) appeals in the last couple of years,” Burge said. “Sometimes we find math errors or feel they could install better pollution controls. If changes aren't made, occasionally we'll file an appeal.”

The settlement includes specific revisions to the company's DEP air quality permit that limits emissions to amounts agreed upon by both parties.

The agreement was finalized on Dec. 3. GASP formally withdrew appeals on Dec. 13.

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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