Residents Learn How To Fight Proposed TRANSCO Gas Compressor Station

Opponents of the proposed Williams-Transco gas compressor station gathered at Franklin Middle School April 18 to learn how to submit comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Residents opposed to a plan to build a natural gas compressor station near the Trap Rock quarry gathered at a township school April 18 to continue their fight.

The session at Franklin Middle School was meant to help opponents of the Williams-Transco plan to build the compressor station gain what’s called intervenor status and to submit comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement developed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the project released late last month.

Williams wants to build the station on a 52-acre tract in Little Rocky Hill, near Route 518. The company has proposed building the 32,000-horsepower natural-gas powered twin turbine compressor station – which will raise the gas pressure in pipelines so the gas can make it to its final destination – as part of the company’s $1 billion multi-state Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (NESE).

As its stands, plans call for construction on the compressor station to begin in January 2019, with completion expected sometime in December 2019.

Opponents say the station will cause air and noise pollution, and poses a safety hazard.

Barbara Cuthbert, a member of the township task force opposing the station, said the session was meant to “reintroduce Franklin Township people who either forgot about it or don’t know about it to what it’s all about, and guide them through the intervenor status so they have a say in the matter, and guide them to make comments to the FERC and copies to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.”

Cuthbert said the group also hopes to have a large turnout at the May 2 comment session planed to be held by FERC at the Senior/Community Center in the municipal complex on DeMott Lane.

Griggstown residents Michael Bell and Jane McCarty were two of the township residents who attended the session.

“We’re very concerned about the possibility of the compressor station being built probably a mile and a half from our house,” Bell said. “We think it poses a risk, it’s  small risk, but it’s a very high consequence.”

“The compressor station will stress an old pipeline over a section of it more than its been for many years, this should never be considered until Williams demonstrates a hydro-static pressure test of that line, within normal margins of safety, over its entire length,” he said.

Bell said the project also “poses a noise and pollution hazard in our area, in what is now a very pleasant, semi-rural area.”

McCarty said she also has concerns about possible explosions at the site.

“I think the concerns about an explosion because the pipeline is old and hasn’t been tested at the pressures they’re intending to run the gas in it, once they have the compressor station in place, is a serious problem,” she said.


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