Natural gas is transported with networks of pipelines, with smaller
gathering lines joining into larger interstate pipelines & branching
out again to reach various markets. Pipeline routes are dotted with
Compressor Stations that run continuously & are very noisy.
The gas is pressurized to force it into bigger lines & keep
it moving - sometimes thousands of miles to its destinations. Metering
Stations measure the volume amount of natural gas pushed.
Pipelines cut through forests, farms, residential neighborhoods,
schools, & even run under rivers (including the Susquehanna)
& lakes, disturbing a variety of environments, sometimes in
very damaging ways, as where toxic sediments are stirred up by "jet
trenching" to bury pipelines in a lake bed.
Interstate Lines & Eminent Domain
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC,
is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission
of electricity, natural gas, and oil. FERC also reviews proposals
to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural
gas pipelines as well as licensing hydropower projects. The Energy
Policy Act of 2005 gave FERC additional authority as outlined in
FERC's Top Initiatives & Strategic Plan.
Pipeline routes are frequently established through
the process of granting "Eminent Domain" - the government
taking of private land- YOUR property - under the guise of "public
good" BUT really at a Corporation's behest & their PROFITS,
not the benefit of local citizens & resistant property owners.
link to hear Bedford, PA residents on Pipelines & Eminent Domain.
Text Continues following the Photo, Chart, & Map of NEPA below:
Gas Pipelines Can Be Dangerous
Aging pipeline infrastructure & growing populations
in once-rural areas where pipelines were routed decades ago leads
to frequent leaks, which regularly produce explosions that are costly
in property damage & lives lost.
In 2008 the 1950s era Transco Pipeline exploded in Appomattox, VA-
devastating the area around the blast- below. The cause of the explosion
was "corrosion" not indenified by pipeline inspection.
Another aging pipeline built in 1956, the Pacific
Gas & Electric Pipeline
exploded, killing 8 people, 6 missing, 60 injured, & burned
down 53 homes.
Station Air & Noise Pollution
Besides areas where Gas Drilling itself takes place,
communities near Compressor Stations & Natural Gas Storage Tanks
also suffer from the problem of Polluted AIR. In Forth Worth, Texas,
in the Barnett Shale gas fields, natural gas storage tanks &
compressors have had a negative impact on air quality increasing
smog equal to all vehicle traffic in that Metroplex.
Recent video footage taken by the Texas Commission
on Environmental Quality using an infrared camera clearly shows
fugitive hydrocarbon emissions billowing from storage tanks. Storage
tanks are designed for a certain amount of legally-permitted leakage
Researchers have found that neighborhoods, schools, &
workers in close proximity to oil & gas activities may be at
increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, &
other disorders, due to industry pollutants.
Emissions released from gas compressor stations, have been shown
to increase the chance of deaths from respiratory & cardiovascular
diseases as well as increasing the rate of premature births &
low birth weights. Chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOCs) that include benzene & toluene, can put people at risk
of developing leukemia, kidney & neurological diseases, as well
as increasing the risk of renal & other cancers.
In Dish, Texas, where numerous pipelines & Compressor Stations
have been built in recent years, there has been a corresponding
die-off of trees, livestock dying of mysterious causes, & humans
are developing a range of unusual medical problems from toxic fumes.
Children in large groups get periodic nose bleeds when attending
schools located near Compressor Stations.
Suspected in these nosebleeds is formaldehyde, a byproduct of the
combustion engines used in the compressor stations that pump gas
through transmission lines-
as reported in the Star-Telegram newspaper of Fort Worth, TX."
The Environmental Protection Agency published a draft report in
June 2010 declaring formaldehyde a carcinogen."
"Environmental scientists say the danger of formaldehyde in
the air is twofold. Some researchers believe that at lower levels,
it accelerates the formation of ozone, the main ingredient of smog.
At higher levels, formaldehyde becomes a direct health risk, irritating
the eyes, nose & throat, causing wheezing."
Besides truck traffic & other industrial activity stresses,
people living near Compressor Stations can develop a life-threatening
condition from the constant intense low-level noise called "vibro-acoustic
disease," described in Noise and Health, a respected international
journal, as a whole-body, systemic pathology, marked
by depressions, increased irritability & aggressiveness,
a tendency for isolation, & decreased cognitive skills,
among other symptoms.
-Adapted in part from the co-authored Fact Sheet
Chenango Delaware Otsego Gas Opposition Group (CDOG)