From the Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, a New York-based grass-roots group, today:
Fremont Center ~ At approximately 9:30 at night on Thursday December 5, a family on Hungry Hill Road in the Town of Hancock, Delaware County evacuated their home after a Millennium Pipeline Company employee knocked on their door and advised them to either leave the area within ten minutes or stay inside while the company vented natural gas into the atmosphere. The spokesperson said the process would be very noisy and last several hours. The family lives near the site where Millennium is constructing a new compressor station.
The Hancock Compressor Station is being built in the midst of a vacation community on land Millennium acquired after it destroyed the septic system, contaminated the water well, and caused structural damage to a house on the site during its pipeline expansion in 2007 and 2008.
Safety concerns, air contamination, noise, and impact on property values were among the objections sited by area residents who spoke out against the project before it was granted a license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). At an August 2, 2012 hearing, residents pointed out that the compressor station is being built on a narrow, winding road that has only one means of egress in the winter. In emergencies, residents said, Millennium would be forced to rely on the Long Eddy Volunteer Fire Department in Sullivan County, which has only seven active members and lacks a foam truck like the one that had been used to put out a compressor station fire in the Broome County Town of Windsor earlier that summer. Another resident pointed out that the compressor station would release huge volumes of contaminants into the atmosphere, including formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and cancer-causing volatile organic compounds. The methane released into the atmosphere by Millennium on Thursday night is a powerful greenhouse gas.
According to Millennium spokesperson Mike Armiak, the incident occurred after there was a problem with equipment being used to make a connection to the pipeline. Cora Edwards, Chair of the Sullivan County Public Safety Committee said, “We take these incidents very seriously given the compressor station's proximity to our county and to the Delaware River.”
For further information contact Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy: firstname.lastname@example.org or (845) 468 7063
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