Compressor station explosion, fire, health concerns; Action Alert
Even when they are not exploding and burning, as the Lathrop compressor station did yesterday, compressor stations are a major health hazard and they are multiplying rapidly in Pennsylvania. Here’s more news, with photo and video, of yesterday’s fire, and an invitation to go the extra mile to protect those now in harm’s way in shale country, PA.
Yesterday at 6:15 pm Williams, the company responsible for the explosion, fire, and uncontrolled release of gas at Lathrop compressor station earlier in the day, issued a press release reassuring their investors. While being careful not to use the word “explosion” — despite residents who reported hearing a loud “boom” and residents who reported that their houses shook — the press release said, “management of Williams Partners and Williams expect the financial impact of the fire to be immaterial to their financial condition…”
Pennsylvania residents, emergency responders, and grassroots documentarians on the scene at the burning Lathrop Compressor Station in Susquehanna County were less cheerful. “I’m still shaking inside,” reported one resident. Susquehanna County residents have been concerned about the Lathrop compressor station even before yesterday’s explosion and fire. “That’s a really stinky compressor station,” said Frank Finan, an area resident. “When I drive by, I smell it. I worry about the people nearby living with those odors and that noise.”
Noxious substances emitted by compressor stations in Pennsylvania, as measured by the PA DEP in June 2010 at a compressor station in Greene County which has been making nearby resident Pam Judy sick, include: benzene, styrene, toluene, xylene, hexane, heptane, acetone, acrolein, propene, carbon tetrachloride, chloromethane and others. Most of these are known carcinogens and exposure to them creates the type of symptoms (severe headaches, dizzy spells, nausea, and other symptoms) Pam and her family have been experiencing.
Here is a video of the smoke, with flames still visible at times, taken by Susquehanna County resident Vera Scroggins yesterday at the Lathrop compressor station. You can hear Vera exclaiming, “Whoa, look at the smoke from that compressor station… it’s burning up!”
“Enough is enough,” Frank Finan’s title for his photos, sums up local residents concerns pretty well. Here is an Action Alert, along with news about the Commonwealth Pipeline, which Protecting Our Waters opposes to protect our land, air, water, climate, and health.
Attend Compressor Station Hearings: one 8-engine compressor station; four two-engine compressor stations
Please HOLD THESE DATES and sign up now if you can go in person to testify at hearings about Pennsylvania compressor stations planned for Wyoming and Susquehanna Counties, respectively: April 11th, 6 pm and April 17th, 6 pm. Protecting Our Waters does not have a carpool coordinator yet for these hearings; if you can help, please say so in the comment section and folks can contact you directly! For more information, please contact Matt Walker at Clean Air Council, 215-567-4004 ext. 121 firstname.lastname@example.org
There are two public meetings and hearings coming up in northeastern Pennsylvania in mid-April:
1). What: Chief Gathering Compressor Station in Wyoming County (8 engines):
When: April 11, 2012 at 6:00 p.m
Where: Tunkhannock Area Middle School located at 135 Tiger Drive, Tunkhannock, PA 18657
2). What: Laser Gathering’s proposed FOUR compressor stations (each with 2 engines for now) in Susquehanna County:
When: April 17, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: Montrose Area Jr. / Sr. High Scholl located at 75 Meteor Way, Montrose, PA 18801.
The DEP is requesting that people sign up ahead of time, although they state that if there is time after pre-registered speakers, then they will allow people who aren’t pre-registered to speak. Clean Air Council will help develop an online sign-up tool to sign up for both hearings. Contact Matt Walker (contact info. above) for more info.
Meanwhile, written request to speak can also be sent to Mark Wejkszner, Air Quality Program Manager, Department of Environmental Protection, Air Quality Program, Wilkes-Barre Regional Office, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701-1915
Commonwealth Pipeline in the News
The Commonwealth Pipeline, which would bring Marcellus gas to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington if approved, has not yet applied for crucial permits and is in the early stages of gathering funds and determining its route. The pipeline would use eminent domain to bulldoze past objections of landowners along its route. Even while 200,000 trees are being cut for the MARC 1 pipeline, Don Gilliland summed up some of the controversies surrounding the Commonwealth pipeline at this early stage in the Patriot News today.