7 say yea, 1 nay: Turbine project gains approval — mostly

Turbine project gains approval — mostly

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Kevin Lynn, of Harvey’s Lake, adds his support for the Transco Compressor Station 520 during the state Department of Environmental Protection’s public hearing on the proposed project. The hearing was held at Salladasburg Elementary School on Wednesday.

Seven of eight people who testified at a hearing to discuss construction of a combustion turbine and emergency generator at Compressor Station 520 in Mifflin Township support the plan.

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., also known as Transco, is proposing the project to provide additional capacity to compress natural gas to support the company’s planned pipeline expansion in the region.

Kevin Lynn, of Harvey’s Lake, said natural gas benefits the people. He noted that the resource represents clean energy.

“I say we use it and prosper,” he said.

Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko said he supports responsible development of the Marcellus Shale.

He said his own county has in operation a number of compressor stations that have caused few problems there.

“I applaud what is going on,” he said.

Kevin Sunday, of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, also came out in support of Transco’s project. Natural gas contributes, he said, to lower energy bills and expanded economic opportunity.

“I urge you to grant approval,” he told officials with the state Department of Environmental Protection, “so we can move the economy forward.”

Deirdre Lally, of the Clean Air Council, was the lone voice during the hearing who came out in opposition of the project.

She said it would negatively impact air quality and pose an environmental threat. Lally raised concerns about the compressor station’s proximity to Salladasburg Elementary School.

“Children are especially vulnerable to air pollution,” she said.

Also testifying was Jason Fink, executive vice president of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

“I am here to speak in favor of this project,” he said.

Fink said the company already has a proven track record of environmental safety.

Pete Butler, of Tunkhannock, said, “I believe this proposal is good for everyone.”

Prior to the hearing, DEP and company officials responded to concerns of several people.

Muhammad Zaman, DEP air quality program manager, said emissions from the compressor station are controlled to the maximum extent possible.

He said the company is required to monitor the facility, but DEP also makes annual inspections. Unannounced inspections also can be made by the state agency.

The facility must meet requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and its regulations as well as federal laws.

DEP is not expected to make a decision on the company’s permit application until approvals are complete, regulations are met and all comments regarding the project, including those made at the hearing, have been considered.

Written testimony will be accepted before 4 p.m. May 1 to Muhammad Zaman, Environmental Program Manager, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Air Quality Program, 208 W. Third St., Suite 101, Williamsport, PA 17701.