Health Presentation Prompts Questions for Orange Township Supervisors


Dr. Saberi and Deirdre Lally answer questions from the audience following the presentation.

by Casey Pegg & Sierra Shamer

The August 28th presentation on the health impacts of the proposed compressor station was a huge success and that energy was carried into the Orange township supervisors meeting.  Members of Columbia County Against the Pipeline presented the supervisors with a list of questions about the compressor station.  The supervisors agreed to review our questions with their solicitor. They will provide answers for us at their next meeting on Oct 6 at 7:30pm in the Orangeville Municiple Building, 2028 PA-487, Orangeville, PA 17859.

AUG 28 Over 60 residents of Columbia county attended an information session sponsored by the Shalefield Organizing Committee and Columbia County Against the Pipeline.  Organizer Deirdre Lally, of the Shalefield Organizing Committee and the Clean Air Council, provided background information about the compressor station as well as the permitting and regulatory process. Dr. Poune Saberi of Physicians for Social Responsibility discussed the air and noise pollution that worsens the physical and mental health of people living near compressor stations and other natural gas facilities.

Dr. Saberi emphasized that the air emissions produced by compressor stations – volatile organic compounds, methane, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and more – will not just affect our respiratory systems – ear, nose, and throat. In addition to inhibiting our breathing, compressor station emissions can impact our digestive systems, nervous systems, cardiovascular systems, and more.

Additionally, Dr. Saberi explained that the methods used by state and industry  to monitor these emissions can fail to capture harmful pollutants that impact public health.

Many of the audience members had not heard of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise project and the compressor station that would affect their community. After the presentation, concerned audience members asked many questions, mostly wanting to know – what can they do to stop this? The meeting concluded with the decision to attend the Orange Township Supervisors meeting with a list of questions and concerns.

Sept. 1: Concerned residents fill the room at the Orange Township Supervisors meeting to present their questions and demands.

Concerned residents fill the room at the Orange Township Supervisors meeting to present their questions and demands.

SEPT 1  Residents filled the room at the Orange Township Supervisors meeting. Though surprised at the abrupt turnout, the supervisors allowed each person to state their name and reason for coming. After pausing the meeting to discuss with each other, the supervisors felt that our questions would be better answered by their solicitor, who was unavailable that evening.

 Despite this, the supervisors listened to many questions and comments asked of the group and said that they understand and share our concerns, that they wouldn’t want a compressor station in their back yard, but that there is little that they can do to prevent its construction. We presented the supervisors with a list of questions related to the compressor station.

The supervisors wanted to wait until their solicitor was present to answer the questions and agreed to do so at the next meeting.  Following the lead of the county commissioners, the Orange township supervisors have also agreed to write a letter to FERC on our behalf, listing concerns about the safety of the pipeline.  The Supervisors have already written a letter to FERC thanking Williams for $10,000 in grant money.

 Thanks to everyone who attended the health presentation, and who carried that energy to the Orange Township supervisors. Please stay tuned for updates from the October 6th meeting!