Informational Meeting Regarding the Expansion of the Myersville Compressor Station
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
will hold an informational meeting in connection with Dominion Transmission Inc.’s (DTI) proposal to double the size
of the recently constructed natural gas compressor station in Myersville. This is part of DTI’s proposed Leidy South
Project, which will affect communities from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.
Date: September 3, 2015
Time: 6:00 p.m. – DTI Poster Session
Time: 7:00 p.m. – MDE Informational Meeting
Volunteer Fire Company Banquet Hall, 301 Main St, Myersville, MD
DTI will present information on the project beginning at 6 p.m. The
MDE Informational Meeting will begin at 7 p.m., and is held as part of the state Air Quality permitting process.
MCRC believes that
compressor stations should not be located in close proximity to population centers and should not pose a threat to a municipality,
its residents, schools, and agricultural practices. We invite you to come out to tell DTI and MDE: No Expansion of the
Myersville Compressor Station.
Docket No. CP15-492-000:
Despite repeated assurances from Dominion Transmission
that they had no plans to expand the Myersville Compressor Station, they have filed an application with FERC to essentially
double the amount of compression at the facility. Specifically, DTI has applied for an additional 15,900 hp of compression,
installation of a selective catalytic reduction systems, and modifications to existing compressor unit at the Myersville Compressor
Station in Frederick County, Maryland.
The Leidy South Project also seeks to 8,000
hp additional electric compression at the Leesburg Compressor Station in Loudoun County, Virginia.
The application may be found in the FERC e-library
On July 23, 2015, FERC issued its Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental
Assessment and a Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (found here in FERC e-library). However,
that Notice of Intent was not timely submitted to the entire environmental mailing list. FERC has therefore extended the scoping period to September 4, 2015.MCRC has filed as interveners in the docket and will continue to fight for the safety of our
community. We strongly urge you to stay involved as well!
So here's what you can do:
1) Sign up to the FERC docket so that you are
notified by email whenever a filing or issuance is made on the docket. Complete directions are found: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp
up to file comments electronically using eComment. http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp
you plan to submit longer comments, you may also file those electronically using eFiling. This allows you to submit
comments as files. http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp
may also want to sign up to be an intervener. http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp
it may be technically late, FERC will consider all request to become an intervener. So consider this option.
If you have any questions,
please do not hesitate to contact us!
And remember, it's Docket No. CP15-492
Information from the webinar for air monitoring
If you are interested about the air quality in Myersville (including the emission
from the gas compressor station), the EPA has hosted a webinar. Information that was presented during this webinar can be
found here and here.
If you are interested in supporting MCRC's effort for air monitoring, please
contact us by email!
DTI submits application of expansion of
the Myersville Gas Compressor Station
DTI has submitted
the application with FERC. Please find the notice here, the application here. We strongly advise everyone to submit a motion to intervene, as only
intervenors have the possibility not only to write comments, but also to challenge the proceeding. To be an intervenor does
not have any negative impact. Motions to intervene can be submitted via efiling after eregistering (click here for link to get to either option).
Comments and motions to intervene can be submitted until June 17, 5 p.m. (sharp! FERC does not consider
submissions milliseconds afterwards as being timely).
over the Leidy South Project can be found here.
MCRC vs FERC decided
all of our supporters and community members who have been fighting the compressor station in Myersville, we have just learned
that our lawsuit against FERC in Federal Circuit Court has been decided
in favor of FERC.. This is an unfortunate ruling. However, our efforts have not been in vain. According to our lawyer, It is now clear that the Maryland State Implementation of the Clean Air Act is
federally enforceable - which is new precedent - so maybe it will be possible to incorporate specific requirements governing
compressor station sitting directly in the SIP to protect other communities
Our struggle continues as DTI has announced the nearly
doubling the size of the Myersville gas compressor station a mere two weeks after it went into operation. We will vigorously
oppose the Leidy South expansion and the unnecessary negative impact of safety and health risks to our community.
The opinion may
be found here.
DTI will hold Open House March 31 regarding
expansion project in Myersville
DTI has announced
that they will hold an open house on March 31, 2015, 5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., in the Myersville Volunteer Fire Company Banquet
Hall. They will discuss the Leidy South Project expansion, which would double the capacity (an additional
15,900 hp!) of the Myersville Gas Compressor Station! Unfortunately, FERC has decided not to send anyone to this event. Even
though the court ruling of the original project has not been decided, DTI goes ahead with this expansion project. More information
regarding the project can be found here and here.
The current timeline is:
Open House 03/31/15
Application May 2015
Expected FERC Order: March 2016
Full Project In-Service October 2017
Dominion plans to double the Myersville
compressor station, adding another 15,000 hp
plans to add a second compressor to the one that was just put into service, doubling the horsepower. The pre-filing request
is planned to be already in December 2014! For more information see here and below.
Leidy South Project
155,000 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service and add approximately 43,250 horsepower of compression
and new metering and regulation equipment to DTI’s existing interstate pipeline transmission system.
Finnefrock Station, Clinton County, PA
- Install 6,130 horsepower (hp)
- Add about 0.5 mile interconnection pipe
Centre Station, Centre County,
- Upgrade filter separators
Chambersburg Station, Franklin County, PA
- Install 13,220
hp additional compression
Myersville Station, Frederick County, MD
- Install 15,900 hp additional compression (This virtually doubles the existing compression!)
selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to existing and new units
Leesburg Station, Loudoun County, VA
8,000 hp additional electric compression
Quantico Station, Fauquier County, VA
- Install new cooler and filter
Stonewall Meter Station, Loudoun County, VA
- Construct new metering and regulating station
DTI Puts Myersville compressor station in service
DTI has informaed FERC that it put the Myersville compressor station in service.
More information can be found here.
of the oral arguments in MCRC v. FERC.
The recording of the oral arguments in our case can
be found here.
Oral arguments MCRC v. FERC
oral arguments were heard on Friday, October 24th, 2014. We want to thank Carolyn Elefant in her well prepared and great
Citizen Complaint Form
In case you have a complaint relating to the Myersville Compressor Station, please
find a Citizen Complaint Form here. The forms can be mailed or scaned and emailed to MCRC Inc. (MCRC Inc., PO Box 158, Myersville, MD 21773; email@example.com).
We will forward the complaints to the appropriate contacts. In addition, we have provided some contact phone numbers at the
end of the form that can be called.
In the past week some important issues came up:
- Federal appeal, MCRC v. FERC. In this case MCRC has challenged the FERC order regarding the Myersville
compressor station. Please see new developments below.
appeal, MCRC v. MDE. In this case MCRC has challenged the MDE approval. Please find more information below.
- Town infrastructure damaged. Please find more information below.
- DTI request approval from FERC to commence service of the Myersville Compressor
Station no later than October 29, 2014. More information can be found here.
FERC approves Cove Point. More information can be found here.
DTI contributions to elected officials. Please find more information below.
Federal appeal, MCRC v. FERC
In this case we challenge the order by FERC granting DTI to construct the Myersville
Compressor Station. The court date is set for Friday, October 24, at 9.30am. Seating is until 9.00am. It
is important to show the court that there are actual people being affected by the FERC decision, therefore it is very important
to have as many people from Myersville as possible in the court room during our case. The address is 333 Constitution Ave., NW Washington,
DC 20001 (Metro Red Line from Shady Grove Metro Station to Judiciary Square Metro Station (47 minutes, every 6 minutes a train
leaves Shady Grove), the court is about 0.3 mi south of this station; please be aware that getting to Shady Grove takes longer
during the morning rush hour!). Our lawyer advises to be at the courthouse at least by 8.45 am to have enough time to
get through security and be seated by 9 am.
State appeal, MCRC v. MDE
In this case we appeal the approval of MDE. We filed the appeal on July
10, 2014. We are still waiting for a court date. MDE has filed for a 60 day extension, this case is moving
Town infrastructure damaged
Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community (MCRC) has become aware of damage to Town of Myersville infrastructure at
the natural gas compressor station construction site off Milt Summers Road. The site is owned by Dominion Transmission
Inc. (DTI) and contract work was performed by W.F. Delauter, a company run by Frederick County Commissioner Kirby Delauter.
In addition to damage to the Town's sewer
line, it appears there have been numerous irregularities with the contractor based upon 300 pages of email communications
between DTI, Delauter, and Town of Myersville officials. Copies of such communications were obtained by MCRC through
a Public Information Act request (PIA).
That correspondence revealed issues that include, but are not limited to:
· Improper advance notice for work done
Delauter appears to have improperly called in an Emergency Electrical Repair ticket with Miss Utility for excavation and utility
work. Mr. Delauter replied to inquiries by officials of the Town of Myersville that "Dominion was pushing to get
started so they suggested to place it under an emergency locate in order to get it earlier."
Shortcuts with Miss Utility resulted in the Town receiving a warning
letter on 8/21/14 from Maryland Underground Facilities Damage Prevention Authority indicating that the Town had failed to
properly mark utilities; the Town maintains it was never alerted due to the failure of DTI and its contractors to call in
the correct tickets
Indication that the warning letter from the Maryland Underground
Facilities Damage Prevention Authority was a result of a complaint lodged by DTI against Myersville
Incursions onto private property without authorization along with
Utilization of improper alternative site access which may have resulted
in disruption to soft soils and subsequent damage
· Indication of stream/wetland crossing without permits
· Indication of improper/lack of protective fencing (silt fencing)
· Indications that the original plans filed by Fox and Associates on behalf of DTI with regard to the utility work were
Additionally, MCRC finds extremely
troubling the utter lack of professionalism with which DTI and
its contractors have treated officials of the Town of Myersville. For example, when Town officials expressed concern
over the manner in which work was being conducted, Mr. Delauter stated that he had done everything short of driving the official
to the site and "buy donuts." Mr. Delauter also stated that he would not be responsible for any damage to
Town property. We find the manner in which Town officials have been treated appalling and indefensible. Despite
DTI's continued assurances it would be a good neighbor, its words and the manner in which work has been completed belies that
MCRC has filed an additional PIA request, will continue to analyze information, and determine what actions to take.
DTI contributions to elected officials
According to DTI's finance report, the following officials received contributions
from Dominion (see here for the complete report):
Kathy Committee To Elect: $ 300.00
Brinkley, David Friends Of: $ 750.00
House Democratic Committee Slate, Maryland: $ 2,000.00
Martin Friends Of: $ 2,500.00
Schulz, Kelly Friends Of: $ 500
Young, Ron Friends of: $ 500
The latest MCRC newsletter can be
FERC granted DTI's requests
FERC granted DTI's request to start the construction of the compressor station,
including realignment of the Myersville Suction/Discharge Pipeline (filed in DTI’s Implementation Plan), rearranging
the Myersville Compressor Station layout to accommodate the Suction/Discharge Pipeline realignment, increasing the size
of the compressor building (compressor build from 65 x 75 to new 80 x 72 or increase of 885 sq
feet; office building increase from 40 x 100 to new 40 x 134 or increase of 1,360 sq feet),
and construction 24 hours per day, 7 days per week (see here for more information).
We are not
sure if the county approved plans reflects the change request….the plans don’t define the dimensions.
DTI requests to work on the construction
of the compressor station 24/7
12 DTI request to proceed on page 1 foot note (see here for request):
“As stated in the Application, DTI planned to commence construction of the Myersville
Compressor Station in early 2013. Due to an unanticipated delay, DTI hereby notifies the Commission that the contractor will
need to work seven days per week and 24 hours per day during the construction phase in order to meet the in-service date of November 1, 2014.
The nighttime construction will be limited primarily to electrical and instrumentation work to run conduit/wire and make terminations
inside of the buildings once the Myersville Compressor Station and auxiliary buildings are erected and enclosed. If needed,
construction activities may occur outside of the buildings based on critical or urgent issues. Nighttime noise and lighting
will be monitored.”
MDE Air Quality Permit approved
The Air and Radiation Management Administration of the
Maryland Department of the environment (MDE) has issued the Permit to Construct (Air Quality Permit) to DTI. Please
find more information here (Google Docs is not able to offer preview and virus scanning for large files, the file has been screened when
uploaded; if you have problems downloading it, please try the link here; this is a slow connection, though, and might take some time to
download the PDF file). DTI has submitted
a request to FERC for the start of construction and a variance request (see here for more information).
MCRC is currently evaluating the options, as filing an appeal, and is in contact
with our lawyer as well as other groups supporting our case.
Huge win against FERC in New Jersey
lawsuit by a coalition of groups wins a court case against FERC. It was found that FERC violated federal law when issuing
a permit for a pipeline project (please see more here). This gives us hope for our case against FERC as well.
Marylanders Submit Over 500 Comments to Tell MDE: Deny Dominion's Air Permit
for Proposed Myersville Compressor Station! Please see here to read the complete Media Alert.
1) Please remember, the deadline for submission of comments to the MDE Air Quality Permit
application is March 22! MDE requires that comments have to be received
by then. Please see below for instructions.
2) MDE Air Quality
MCRC received the Air Dispersion Model.
This can be used for submission of comments. It would be very helpful if someone who is familiar with such models could look
at it and submit comments. Letter from MDE. Air Dispersion Model. EPA Air Models.
Two groups which support our efforts to prevent the construction
of the gas compressor station in Myersville, Sierra Club and Chesapeake Climate Action Network, have submitted or are just
about to submit comments to the MDE Air Quality Application. In addition, they have asked their members to submit comments
as well, plus they have setup an online form on their website to protest against the gas compressor station: https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=13025 and http://org.salsalabs.com/o/423/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15256.
In the court case against FERC, the Brief, Reply Brief and Joint Appendix were submitted.
One organization, Earthjustice, which
is supporting our case as well as the fight against the Cove Point export facility, has engaged the pipeline engineer and
expert Richard Kuprewicz from Accufacts, who is looking not only into Cove Point, but also the connection with the Myersville
gas compressor station and the unjust fragmentation of the Myersville case from Cove Point (as a rule, everything that belongs
together, has to be submitted and worked on as one submission): http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/common/downloadOpen.asp?downloadfile=20140305%2D5085%2829169148%29%2Epdf&folder=17899634&fileid=13476058&trial=1.
In a letter, Senators
"Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin have weighed in on the growing Cove Point gas export controversy by calling on federal
officials to respond to a request for public meetings all across the state. In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
the senators said expressions of concern from health, faith, environmental, and community leaders statewide have led them
to ask FERC to respond promptly to a request for public meetings on Cove Point in Garrett, Frederick, Baltimore, Anne Arundel
and Montgomery Counties." In addition, also "included in the request for public meetings was Frederick County, where
the gas industry wants to build a large compressor station for pressurizing gas that could be piped to Cove Point from as
far away as Pennsylvania. The final request for a public meeting was for Baltimore County where new or expanded pipelines
and compressor stations could be built due to Cove Point." (http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=3874:cove-point-mikulski-and-cardin-%E2%80%98exhort%E2%80%99-federal-officials-to-respond-to-a-call-for-public-meetings-across-md&Itemid=23)
started the construction of the Mullet gas compressor station in Monroe County, Ohio. This gas compressor station is part
of the Allegheny Storage Project, which the Myersville gas compressor station is part of as well. (http://elibrary.FERC.gov/idmws/file_list.asp?accession_num=20140306-5001).
On a side note, we found this article very interesting: http://m.industryweek.com/companies-amp-executives/exxonmobil-chief-says-not-my-backyard: "Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil (IW 500/1) chief executive has been a zealous advocate of the shale boom and
the controversial use of "fracking," but not when it hits too close to home. Tillerson and his neighbors are suing
to block the construction of a 160-foot-tall (78.8-meter-) water tower, to be used in part for hydraulic fracturing, near
his $5 million ranch in Bartonville, outside Dallas, according to a complaint filed in a Texas court. The tower, which now
is partially built, "will create a constant and unbearable nuisance to those that live next to it," according to
the suit. Some of the water will be used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" for shale oil and gas, resulting
in truck use that will cause "noise nuisance and traffic hazards," said the complaint. The suit seeks a permanent
injunction against the tower's construction rather than financial damages. "Even though the damages might compensate
them for their diminished property values, damages cannot compensate fully for the substantial interference with Plaintiffs'
use and enjoyment of their land."
Health effects of emissions
During the MDE meeting a question was raised about the known health effects of the emissions that would be emitted by the proposed
gas compressor station. We have the feeling
that this important question was not thoroughly answered. Please find an overview of the health effects of the emissions of
the proposed gas compressor station here.
MCRC submitted Brief
MCRC has submitted the brief for the case MCRC v. FERC. Please find the submitted
We want to thank our
supporters for their donations that made it possible for MCRC to proceed with the court case on behalf of the people opposing
the construction and operation of a compressor staton in Myersville.
are we interested and are participating in the application process of the Cove Point Expansion Project?
MCRC is joining a coalition of other organizations who are raising concerns about the proposed Cove Point LNG Export
Terminal. We continue to believe that
the oversized compressor station contemplated for Myersville is really in preparation of exporting natural gas to overseas
Approving export facilities at Cove Point would drive demand for 'fracked' gas,
including in Western Maryland. It would also require increased infrastructure, such as the proposed Myersville Compressor
Dominion’s Cove Point export facility would be Maryland’s fourth largest climate polluter, emitting more heat-trapping
carbon dioxide than all but three of the state’s existing coal plants.
Please, visit Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) for more information,
please click here.
Dominion gains U.S. approval to expand natural gas exports
Dominion Resources (D
+0.3%) receives Energy Department approval to export natural gas from its Cove
Point terminal in Maryland to countries that do not have free trade agreements with the U.S. The department says Dominion
is now conditionally authorized to export up to 770 Mcf/day (million cubic feet per day) of natural gas over a 20-year period.
With the decision, the Obama administration has now authorized 6.37 Bcf (billion
cubic feet) of liquefied natural gas to be sold to non-free-trade nations.
The DOE previously approved Dominion's application to export to countries with Free Trade Agreements. Dominion's
proposed facilities are expected to cost $3.4 billion to $3.8 billion. The company filed in March with the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission for approval of the proposed facilities. Pending receipt of regulatory approval and permits, construction
is scheduled to begin in 2014, with an in-service date of 2017.
Source: Seeking Alpha (http://seekingalpha.com/currents/search?query=dominion, Sep 11, 3:15 pm)
Decision in the DTI v. The Town of Myersville
The court ruled that "For the reasons
that follow, Plaintiff Dominion Transmission, Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 17) is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART, specifically, those local laws that affect the siting and operation of the Compressor Station are null and
void, and summary judgment is GRANTED, but injunctive relief is DENIED... Those portions of the Myersville Town Code of Ordinances
that directly affect the siting, construction, or operation of the Myersville Compressor are null and void as applied to Dominion
except for those laws or regulations, if any, enacted pursuant to the State’s rights under the Coastal Zone Management
Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. § 1451 et seq.), the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq.), or the Federal Water Pollution
Control Act (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.)". The final
ruling in this case can be found here and here.
of Myersville released the following statement: "The Myersville Mayor & Council convened
in executive session on October 8, 2013 in accordance with the State Open Meetings Act, to consult with staff on a legal matter
and decisions of recent litigation in Federal court related to the Dominion Transmission, Inc. (DTI) proposal to construct
a Natural Gas compression station in the Town of Myersville. Based on the decision issued
by the Federal District Court on October 7, 2013, the Mayor & Council acknowledges
the decision of the Court which determined that the Town ordinances as applied to siting, construction, and operation of a
natural gas compression station submitted by DTI are in the eyes of the Court preempted by Federal law. The Mayor and Council
have been steadfast in our approach to seek out due process of this matter, to fairly represent the interests of our citizens
and given this most recent court ruling have determined this process to now be concluded. Moving forward, the Town will proceed
with processing of all applicable material through the appropriate review agencies consistent with the basic directive and
parameters of the Court’s decision."
Overview of major incidents at gas compressor
We updated our list of major incidents at
gas compressor stations from 2011 to 2013. Please find the overview here.
of the US Department of Transportation Report “The State of the National Pipeline Infrastructure”
Richard Stover, Ph.D.,
has analyzed publications by the PHMSA and the gas industry. “I show that pipeline safety,
as measured by injury rate, has not been improving since 2001. The government document presents the data but fails to note
the lack of safety improvements since 2001. It turns out that the pipeline industry is even better at hiding the data. Their
publication “Safe and Getting Safer” obscures the facts by showing bar charts that don't even bother to present the yearly
data. They just lump years 1999 to 2001 and compare that with the years 2008 to 2010. Done this way, with just two points
one gets the (incorrect) impression that things are “getting safer.” Measured by the number of injuries that hasn't
been the case for a long time. The industry used number of barrels spilled as an indicator. When all of the data from all
years is considered and presented, there is no improving trend in the net number of barrels spilled. The industry claim is worthless because: 1) it is
based on a proprietary data set that can't be verified, 2) they use cherry-picked data, 3) two points on a plot doesn't constitute
a meaningful trend, 4) they fail to consider all years, and 5) they give no rational definition of “Safe.””
In addition, in a 1-minute
video he shows pipeline incidents since 1986 (please click here to access the video).
His written detailed analysis can be found here. "In summary this report finds: • The DOT/PHMSA report descriptions of their own
graphs are inaccurate, • The DOT/PHMSA use of a straight line to represent the death plus injury rate is a poor representation
of the data, and is misleading, • The injury rate has not improved since 2001, • The death rate has never improved
since 1986, • The injury rate in the first two years of new pipeline facilities averages more than the next seven years
combined, • Pipeline facilities 30 years old and older have much higher rates of failure due to corrosion than younger
facilities. • The rate of pipeline incidents caused by corrosion in older facilities has not decreased in 25 years, •
Safety for the environment as judged by oil spilled has not improved in 25 years"
Maryland emissions-related deaths highest in U.S.
More information can
be found here. How can state approve
a compressor station that releases 88 tons of emissions annually?
Outcome of DTI v. MDE Case
The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled on
the DTI v. MDE case, which can be found here.
court ruled about 3 important issues:
a) Maryland requires an Air Quality Permit to demonstrate conformity
with local zoning which is a part of the State Implementation Plan for the Federal EPA Clean Air Act (CAA)
b) The MDE Air Quality Permit
process and outcome is backed by federal law, meaning it has the power of federal rulings. It cannot be preempted by the FERC
decision (Natural Gas Act).
FERC ruling has the power to preempt local zoning that is covered by the NGA process, but the MDE can determine if there are
any local issues not covered by the NGA and are not preempted.
The first two points are actually very
good for us and a blow to the natural gas industry. This means that the Maryland State Air Quality Application process and
the outcome are backed by federal law, which cannot be preempt by FERC. The MDE permit process is independent from FERC, and
if the results are not in line with FERC certificate, or even contradict with it, MDE cannot be overruled by FERC!
The third item is not ideal for us - we preferred that the court confirm that DTI cannot show conformity
with local zoning by leveraging the FERC certificate to preempt local zoning. Now DTI can proceed with the MDE air permitting