Environmental panel to feature Myersville resident

Frederick News Post
11/17/2013
Myersville resident Ann Nau will be one of several panelists with Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s nine-stop tour across Maryland, including Hood College on Monday. The panelists will address pipeline infrastructure, such as the proposed Myersville compressor station. Nau is vice president of Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community, a grass roots group organized to keep Dominion Transmission Inc. from building a gas compressor station in the small west Frederick County town. Nau has argued that DTI's proposed 16,000-horsepower compressor station is less than one mile from the Myersville Elementary School and would emit 23.5 tons of nitrogen oxide per year, risking lives. The panelists are protesting a new network of infrastructure — pipelines and compressor stations — to transport natural gas from fracking operations to Cove Point that will shipped to overseas markets. Large “energy companies benefit when communities like ours don't connect the dots between their plans and our health,” Nau said in a recent letter to the editor. “In the case of Dominion's $3.8 billion plan to liquefy and export natural gas from its Cove Point facility on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, you can bet they hope Frederick County residents don't (connect the dots), because we could pay a particularly high price,” Nau wrote. A recent MIT study found that Maryland has a higher death rate due to air pollution than any other state, resulting in the premature deaths of 113 out of 100,000 people per year, Nau said. Dominion's plan — to pipe across Maryland, liquefy and export nearly 1 billion cubic feet of gas from Cove Point every day — is a great deal for big gas corporations, but a lousy deal for Marylanders, Nau said.

Speaking out against Myersville compressor station plans

Frederick News Post
Ann Nau
11/03/2013
Energy giants like Dominion Resources, a Virginia-based multi-billion dollar corporation, benefit when communities like ours don’t connect the dots between their plans and our health. In the case of Dominion’s $3.8 billion plan to liquefy and export natural gas from its Cove Point facility on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, you can bet they hope Frederick County residents don’t, because we could pay a particularly high price. As The News-Post has reported, a recent MIT study found that Maryland has a higher death rate due to air pollution than any other state, resulting in the premature deaths of 113 out of 100,000 people per year. In Baltimore, that number jumps to 130 per 100,000, and Frederick has similarly high rates. While I applaud the state’s efforts to improve Maryland’s air quality, as noted in the recent letter from Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert Summers, I am gravely concerned about the consequences if state and federal regulators allow Dominion to move forward with its toxic emissions-spewing export facility. The Cove Point terminal in Lusby, currently designed as a gas import facility, is already in an area that exceeds federal limits for ozone pollution, which triggers asthma attacks and worsens respiratory illnesses. The facilities that Dominion wants to add at Cove Point to liquefy gas for export would spew more ozone pollutants, belching 279.5 tons per year of nitrogen oxide and 33.2 tons per year of volatile organic compounds. But how does this connect to Frederick County? As Dominion and other companies race to export natural gas to overseas markets, driving up domestic prices, they’ll need a massive new network of infrastructure — pipelines and compressor stations — to transport gas from fracking operations to Cove Point. In fact, Dominion Transmission Inc. (DTI), a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, has proposed building a 16,000-horsepower compressor station in Frederick — within the town limits of Myersville, where I live, and less than 1 mile from our elementary school.

Court: Federal laws supersede local zoning ordinances for proposed gas compressor station in Myersville

Frederick News Post
Ike Wilson
10/09/2013
When the Myersville Town Council denied a request last year to build a 16,000-horsepower gas compressor station in the western Frederick County municipality, arguing that local ordinances preclude the project, Dominion Transmission Inc. disagreed and sued Myersville.The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled Monday that local zoning laws are pre-empted by the federal Natural Gas Act. According to the court ruling, those portions of the town code that prevent the siting, construction or operation of the Myersville compressor station are null and void. Dominion also sought an injunction against Myersville, alleging the town was delaying the process to build the station, but the court denied Dominion’s request, saying that the company has not completed other required processes for the Maryland Department of the Environment’s air quality permit. The gas compressor station, which compresses natural gas and pushes it forward, is part of a larger project being built to deal with customer demand for natural gas, according to DTI. The fight to keep the gas compressor station out of Myersville is not over.

Foes of Myersville compressor station ask for review, Want state to postpone permit

Frederick News Post
Ike Wilson
09/25/2013
A local grass-roots group wants the Maryland Department of the Environment to consider a recent study that tags the Old Line State with the highest percentage of premature deaths due to long-term exposure to air pollution than any other state before the state agency makes a decision on Dominion Transmission Inc.’s request for an air quality permit for its proposed gas compressor station in Myersville. The recently released study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that emissions from cars, trucks, industrial smokestacks, trains, boats, and commercial heating systems contribute to the deaths of 113 people per 100,000 population per year in Maryland, according to Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community, the grass-roots group formed to keep the project out of the western Frederick County municipality. Baltimore has the highest emissions-related mortality rate of large cities in the country, and Frederick, Reisterstown and Montgomery Village all have rates close to Baltimore’s, according to the study. After a recent MDE informational meeting in Myersville, MCRC members said the agency should consider the MIT study, along with numerous scientific studies and facts that support not granting the air quality permit to operate a 16,000 horsepower gas compressor station in Myersville.

Myersville decides not to seek judicial review of federal agency’s decision

Frederick News Post
Ike Wilson
07/16/2013
Town officials will not ask a court to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's denial of a request to reconsider granting conditional approval of a plan to build a gas compressor station in Myersville. After a closed meeting July 9, the Myersville Town Council issued this statement: “After careful consideration of all available information, the mayor and council determined not to seek judicial review of the unanimous decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 16, 2013, which denied all parties’ requests for reconsideration of the Dec. 20, 2012 FERC order granting conditional approval of DTI’s Allegheny Storage Project.” But the town will continue to defend itself against the lawsuit brought by DTI in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, according to the statement. DTI’s lawsuit against the town seeks judicial determination that Myersville doesn’t have standing to enforce its zoning laws because it is their belief local laws are pre-empted by federal regulations, Town Manager Kristin Aleshire said. “The mayor and council are fully aware of the interests and divergent positions of our citizens and greater community in this very important issue," the statement continued. "We look forward to the opportunity to provide additional information to the community regarding this decision upon the conclusion of the pending litigation.”

Myersville decides not to seek judicial review of federal agency's decision

Frederick News Post
Ike Wilson
07/16/2013
Town officials will not ask a court to review the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's denial of a request to reconsider granting conditional approval of a plan to build a gas compressor station in Myersville. After a closed meeting July 9, the Myersville Town Council issued this statement: “After careful consideration of all available information, the mayor and council determined not to seek judicial review of the unanimous decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on May 16, 2013, which denied all parties’ requests for reconsideration of the Dec. 20, 2012 FERC order granting conditional approval of DTI’s Allegheny Storage Project.” But the town will continue to defend itself against the lawsuit brought by DTI in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, according to the statement. DTI’s lawsuit against the town seeks judicial determination that Myersville doesn’t have standing to enforce its zoning laws because it is their belief local laws are pre-empted by federal regulations, Town Manager Kristin Aleshire said. “The mayor and council are fully aware of the interests and divergent positions of our citizens and greater community in this very important issue," the statement continued. "We look forward to the opportunity to provide additional information to the community regarding this decision upon the conclusion of the pending litigation.”

Myersville residents to fight FERC decision with fundraising effort

Frederick News Post
Laura Blasey
06/19/2013
MYERSVILLE — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may have denied their request for a rehearing, but the residents of Myersville aren’t giving up without a fight. In the first of two community meetings, representatives of Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community met with about 15 residents Tuesday night to discuss appealing a FERC decision to not reconsider Dominion Transmission’s Allegheny Storage Project. The project would place a 15,000-horsepower gas compressor facility on a 21-acre property off Milt Summers Road. FERC approved the project in December. Town residents and officials who had concerns about the project's safety, size and environmental impact and filed the request for a rehearing in January. FERC rejected the rehearing request in May. “Local people I talk to in the community, they think we’re done. They think with the denial, it’s over and it’s just a matter of when do we move,” said Stephanie Flores, who attended the meeting. “We need to let them know it’s not over.”

Disappointed in Myersville

ClimateHoward
Elisabeth Hoffman
05/16/2013
Federal regulators have denied Myersville residents a rehearing on the permit for a planned compressor station in their rural community. Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community (MCRC) had asked for a rehearing on Dominion Transmission Inc.’s planned 16,000-horsepower compressor station for fracked natural gas, saying in part that the environmental review was insufficient and the process was inadequate and unfair. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), however, agreed with itself. On every issue. In its 35-page ruling issued today, it disagreed with each of MCRC’s points, from concerns about the need for the compressor station and the size of the facility to the noise, danger, air pollutants, environmental assessment and effect on property values. In a ruling summary issued this morning, FERC said, “The order makes clear that the local laws and regulations upon which the Town bases its denial are preempted by the Natural Gas Act.”

Dominion proposal in Myersville to be reviewed

Crowds protest energy company’s application
Gazette
Ryan Marshall
05/09/2012
Myersville’s planning commission will evaluate a proposal by a Virginia-based energy company to build a natural gas compressor station in the town, following a vote by the town’s council Tuesday night. But the council expressed doubt about the long-term prospects of the proposal. About 110 people protested outside of the town council building prior to the meeting, and about 40 came inside for the vote. The proposal by Richmond-based Dominion Transmission would build a 16,000-horsepower compressor station on Milt Summers Road and install a half-mile of suction and discharge pipes, as well as make upgrades to the existing Tuscarora meter station in Frederick County.