Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Compressor Stations Wreak Havoc in PA

Compressor stations are causing a lot of problems in Pennsylvania. This video was taken after a release of an oily substance from Steckman Ridge Compressor in Clearville, PA, on August 23, 2009. The owners of this farm are fearful that their land is hopelessly contaminated, and they don't know what is in the oily substance they found sprinkled all over everything: their farm equipment, the hay wagon, their crops and plants, their pasture land, their blueberry bushes, their springfed pond. They found soot on their roof. The pond has an oily scum on it. Their plants wilted after this incident. They are asking: Is our farm safe or not?

Clearville farmers have watched their animals die- two cows, a horse, many cats, and all of their hens. There are three compressor stations, all within 10 miles. According to the DEP, air tests are not done around compressor stations, despite many requests from residents who live near them. Is the air safe in Clearville? The residents are worried.

Chemist Wilbra Subra calls compressor stations, used in the gas drilling process, "mini-refineries." Dr. Subra's work has included studying the air quality around compressor stations in Dish, TX, where extremely high levels of benzene, toluene, and other carcinogenic and neurotoxic compounds were found "hanging in the air." Residents of Dish have been forced to breathe in these toxins for the past few years since gas drilling has come to their community. Will Clearville develop the same problems? People want to know the answers. Does any industry have the right to "do business" if it means polluting the air, soil, and water?

An article
by Nastassja Noell reports on the incident in Mt. Pleasant, PA, when the Nancy Stewart compressor released a stream of high pressured natural gas for over an hour- a supposedly "normal operational procedure." Raw natural gas was escaping from a pipeline with such force that it caused nearby homes to shake. Martin O'Lear, who lives about a quarter mile from the compressor said,
It sounded like a rocket taking off. My eyes started to burn, and then I started to cough which lasted through the afternoon and night. I've lived here for 34 years and never before had my eyes start to burn when I stepped outside.
In another instance, Spectra CNG sprayed Omala Oil RL 329 over surrounding fields. A week later, the company told residents not to eat any of their crops and to wash their skin thoroughly. The DEP came a week later to test surface water near the compressor station and found at least two cases where toluene was present. This meant that toluene may be in the air. How are residents going to know for sure? Are their children safe? Are their animals safe?

Read more
here about the problems in Clearville and how the DEP is not willing to take serious measures to protect the public. (Warning: Strong language.)

This video shows footage of a huge compressor staton in Clearville, PA, just up the hill from a cemetery. Rest in peace, anyone?


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