I’ve lived in Athens for just over 5 years. Part of the reason we came here was to escape the dangers of Indian Point. If the plan to increase the gas moving through the old pipelines that feed the Iroquois Compressor Station becomes a reality, my move will seem like shifting from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.
I only live about a mile, or so, as the crow flies, or should I say, as the particulates fly, from the Iroquois Compressor Station. I love my beautiful home in Athens, Greene County, and we made a sizeable investment to build and enjoy our retirement years here. And many people live in this vicinity, many even closer to the site. So now I find I am facing possible severe health and safety risks if this project comes to fruition.
The location, near the train tracks that transport many flammables and hazardous materials, an asphalt plant, a gas station, a lumber yard and Athens fracked gas power plant — this location is a potential powder keg.
In addition to all those above ground danger factors, I have learned there are other fracked gas pipelines crisscrossing the same location. It is known that methane leaks regularly from gas pipes, aptly named “fugitive methane” (blowbacks). Increased pollution from methane and particulate releases are clearly issues we will face if this project proceeds. We also know that particulates and methane (highly toxic!) are released as part of normal maintenance of compressor stations, called “blowdowns.” By doubling the pressure being forced through aging and possibly faulty pipelines (the original developers were fined and jailed for inferior work), there is an increased risk of explosion, and in Athens, that is in the midst of all those other explosives nearby. We need to ask if the local volunteer emergency services would be capable of managing a serious, catastrophic event. Consider what is happening in Ohio, at this time, with a train derailment.
This project is specifically proposed to increase fracked gas to NYC and LI. When in fact there is proposed legislation to stop all new gas hook ups in the city.
It’s time we face reality that increasing availability of fossil fuels is preventing us from meeting our state’s goals to reduce usage by 2030. This proposed project is clearly defeating efforts to create a more sustainable future. I hope everyone reading this sends a comment to the DEC to deny the air permit so this project cannot proceed: DEPEnergy@dec.ny.gov and CC: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going forward the state should not accept any applications for new fossil fuel infrastructure in order to remain in compliance with CLCPA (Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act)! It’s time we stopped putting profits for big corporations (Con Ed and National Grid) over a sustainable future.
Cari Gardner, of Athens, is Greene County Democratic Committee District Leader, New York Progressive Action Network (NYPAN), Vice-Chair, NYPAN Environmental Committee, Chair and NYPAN Greene, Director.
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