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Air Quality and Health Impacts of Milford Compressor Station Expansion Prepared for Citizens Meeting Milford, PA July 9, 2014 Presented by Matt Walker.

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Presentation on theme: "Air Quality and Health Impacts of Milford Compressor Station Expansion Prepared for Citizens Meeting Milford, PA July 9, 2014 Presented by Matt Walker."— Presentation transcript:

1 Air Quality and Health Impacts of Milford Compressor Station Expansion Prepared for Citizens Meeting Milford, PA July 9, 2014 Presented by Matt Walker and Sam Koplinka-Loehr, Clean Air Council

2 Clean Air Council Marcellus Shale Program Lawsuits against polluters or agencies Track current rulemaking and write comments on regulations Work with residents to comment and testify on natural gas equipment Community actions to achieve goals outside of regulatory pathways

3 Presentation Overview Introduction Health Impacts from Pollutants Milford Station Specifics How Residents can Protect Public Health Photo Source: Bob Donnan:

4 64% of PA is above Marcellus Shale. In 2013, PA had over 6,000 wells with 3 trillion cubic feet of gas production. These gas products have flooded regional markets and companies are trying to build infrastructure to expand.

5 PA Pipelines and Compressor Stations Milford Compressor Station is currently one of 10 major pipeline expansion projects in the Delaware River Watershed.


7 Air Pollution Sources


9 In 2009, the gas industry released more smog-forming emissions than all cars and trucks in the Dallas metro area – New York Times article citing Armendariz’s 2009 report, supported by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Dallas Fort Worth

10 RAND 2013 Air Pollution Study Research and Development finds shale gas air pollution damages already between $7.2 and $30 million in PA. – Health damages: increased asthma, hospitalization, premature death. – Physical damages: agriculture and infrastructure. – Compressor stations accounted for 60–75% of the total damages.

11 Biggest NOx Contributors Adapted from Allen Robinson,

12 Biggest VOC Contributors Adapted from Allen Robinson,

13 Health Impacts from Pollutants

14 Pollutants from Compressor Stations

15 Potential Health Impacts from Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Low levels – eye, nose, throat & lung irritation – coughing, shortness of breath – tiredness, nausea Source: High levels – rapid burning, spasms, and swelling of throat and upper respiratory tract – reduced O2 in tissues – fluid build-up in lungs

16 Potential Health Impacts from Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) – Includes known and suspected carcinogens – Skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system over time. VOCs:, Formaldehyde:, Hydrogen Sulfide:

17 Potential Health Impacts from Fine Particulate Matter Short-term exposure – Eye, nose, and throat irritation Long-term exposure – Increase in risk of cancer – Exacerbates lung disease

18 Potential Health Impacts from Ozone Aggravation of asthma, bronchitis & emphysema and increased susceptibility to pneumonia & bronchitis Linked to bladder, breast, and lung cancers, stroke, diabetes, lung damage, and premature death Throat irritation, congestion, coughing, and chest pain Wheezing and breathing difficulties Source: American Lung Association, “Health Effects of Ozone and Particle Pollution,” State of the Air, 2011; President’s Cancer Panel, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, 2008-2009 Annual Report (National Cancer Institute, May 2010).

19 Cumulative Health Impacts Taken together, emissions from shale gas infrastructure have substantial public health ramifications. – In their 2013 study, McKenzie et al. found elevated risk of birth defects in populations residing within a one-mile radius of gas infrastructure. – Environmental Assessment of East Side Expansion should consider impacts at the points of gas extraction and refining as well.

20 Milford Compressor Station Impacts


22 Columbia Pipeline Group’s Application Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Pennsylvania DEP. Includes reductions for removing existing engines that have operated at a fraction of permitted capacity. – Less than 200 hours/year since 2004. Actual emissions will be much higher than previously emitted in the neighborhood.

23 Columbia Pipeline Group’s Application with Reductions

24 Columbia Pipeline Group’s Actual 2012 Milford Emissions

25 Columbia Pipeline Group’s Actual 2012 Hours of Operation

26 90x Increase in Milford Station Emissions tons/year 2012Projected Carbon Dioxide12550,762 Carbon Monoxide0.5550.64 NOx0.4642.29 Particulate Matter-6.37 VOC0.023.09 Formaldehyde-0.42 Sulfur Dioxide0.31 Source: 2014 Columbia Pipeline Group DEP Application

27 Expected Air Pollution Sources 2 Natural Gas Turbines Emergency Generator Heater Construction Fugitive Emissions Blowdowns 90 Barrel Condensate Tank 45 Barrel Waste Liquid Tank

28 EPA’s New Oil and Gas Standards On Aug. 2, 2013, EPA updated its performance standards for storage tanks. – All tanks subject to the NSPS must control VOC emissions by 95 percent.

29 Fugitive Emissions/Leakages Leakage from Compressor Stations. Source: EPA

30 Fugitive Emissions Columbia states greenhouse gas fugitive emissions will be 208 tons at Milford, and 2,847 tons over the entire project. A 2009 survey of the emissions from natural gas activities in Texas’s Barnett Shale estimates that fugitive emissions from transmission account for 35% of total fugitive emissions from natural gas activities, or 0.49% of gross production. Columbia has not stated what emissions are expected from venting condensate and liquid waste tanks

31 How Residents Can Protect Public Health

32 Regulatory Timeline Currently in 30-day comment period for DEP Plan Approval until July 28 th FERC plans to release draft Environmental Review on August 29 th, 2014 – Followed by period of agency and public review – Columbia has requested FERC release the EA early, on July 15 th Interveners have opportunity for discovery and appeal


34 Public Hearing Request Best technologies/practices – Blowdown Injection – Electric Compressors – Hazardous Material Management Plan – Condensate Tank Emission Analysis Comment talking points for DEP

35 Comment talking points for Potential Public Hearing Are the greenhouse gas emissions from the station properly accounted for in the current air permit? Has DEP performed a proper aggregation analysis on this station and other facilities? What will the air monitoring and stack test requirements be for this facility? Columbia states aboveground condensate and liquid waste storage is “insignificant,” what hazardous waste oversight will there be of the 90 and 45 barrel tanks? Ask how often will the station be inspected.

36 Electric Compressors Electrical hookup present Would greatly reduce emissions Depending on gas prices, can pay back within 3 years

37 Re-routing Blowdown Gas EPA standards recommend re- routing blowdown gas into sales lines or intersecting pipelines rather than doing an atmospheric release Would greatly reduce emissions Depending on gas prices, can pay back within 2 years

38 A true cumulative air quality/health impacts analysis. A true cumulative climate impacts analysis. Analysis of fugitive methane and VOC emissions. Pursuant with NEPA, the Environmental Impact Statement must take into account all impacts whether “direct, indirect, or cumulative.” Comment talking points for FERC

39 Clean Air Council Action Alert on Milford Station

40 Reality Check on Regulatory Process

41 Contact Info Matt Walker, CAC Community Outreach Director Sam Koplinka-Loehr, CAC Shale Gas Organizer

42 Questions?

43 Air Regulations and Permitting

44 General Permit 5 (GP-5) PA DEP released the revised General Permit 5 in 2013 – Claimed large reductions in air pollution – Reality is that new requirements only matches what the industry has already been doing for the past two years Stream-lined permit Severely limits public participation

45 Federal Regulations Clean Air Act – What can be in the air? EPA sets NAAQS based on Public Health National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) – EPA’s new Oil and Gas Regulations – Required Technology Nonattainment New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration – Title V Permit Program

46 State Air Quality Permitting State permits enforce state and federal regs Exemptions (PA) – All equipment except engines at compressor stations > 100 hp State permits (minor sources) – Plan approval (construction) – Combined operating permit and Plan Approval (GP5) Federal Permits (major sources) – Title V DEP is required to seek public input on compressor stations

47 Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule Methane (nat gas) = 21 x more potent than CO2 (leaking/venting) CO2 from engines Can trip Title V “major source” permit – 100,000 tpy CO2e limit for new or modified site – EPA’s “phase 3” of rule would lower this to 50,000 tpy CO2e

48 Truck Traffic NOx, PM, CO2

49 Dehydration Units Methane, VOCs, HAPs

50 Condensate Tanks VOCs & HAPs

51 Flaring/Venting Source: Frank Finan HAPs, CH4

52 Unplanned Events 2012 Lathrop Compressor Station Explosion, Susquehanna County

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