DTI has applied for an air quality permit.
A number of citizens turned out on Tuesday night at the Myersville Fire Station for an informational meeting on a proposed natural gas compressor station for the area. Dominion Transmission is planning to construct the 16,000 horsepower facility at a 21-acre site off of Milt Summer Road, which is across I-70 from the town of Myersville.
"It's not a manufacturing facility. It's basically a gas-pumping station. And we'll be using gas in order to operate the compressors, which are the pumps in our case. And that's the only energy we'll be using. And we'll have air pollution controls on the compressors," says Dan Donovan, spokesman for DTI.
The company has applied for an air quality permit from MDE in connection with that facility, which will house compressors, a boiler and an auxiliary generator. It will pump natural gas to its customers, Washington Gas Light and BGE.
But opposition to the facility still remains very strong in the town. "It's been shoved down our throats. While we are allowed to comment, our comments have largely been ignored or pushed aside. Dominion simply has to say they're mitigating any environmental impact, and it's a done deal," says Ann Nau, Vice President of Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community.
But William Paul with MDE says approval of DTI's application is not a "done deal." "We have not reviewed it. We have not made a tentative determination. When we do, it doesn't mean we're just accepting what they're putting in to us. We have reviewed it and we've verified it. We are not a rubber stamp agency," Paul says.
MDE is expected to hold a hearing on the application after it has been reviewed. Department officials say they have rejected some projects which don't meet exacting air quality standards.
One citizen said there is a highway coming beside it, and it's less than a mile from an elementary school. "It's not the appropriate site, period," he said, to loud applause from the audience.
Ted Cady with MCRC says he's concerned about air pollution. "There's over 54,000 tons of emissions from this new compressor station. That's the air that we breathe, and my children are going to go by that station on the school bus," he said.
Gerhard Heinsohm says the facility, if it's built, will be one-mile from his home. "First of all, it would be the emissions from it, and the danger of explosions, which we had, I think, 95 in the last year, compressor stations from all across the country. And I don't like that," Heinsohm said.
Donovan acknowledged that DTI has a lot of work to do in convincing Myersville residents that this facility will be a good neighbor. "We've taken every question and answer, and we've bent over backwards. And we are continuing to try to work with the town, and the people to make sure they understand what we're doing," he says.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last year approved the project, but said that was all contingent on DTI getting state and local construction and operating permits. But the Town of Myersville has refused to change its master plan to allow the construction of the gas compressor station. MDE has said if the town refuses, the state cannot act on the DTI's request for a permit. The company has sued both Myersville and MDE.