U.S Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin along with Congressman Chris Van Hollen (all D-Md.), recently sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announcing their support for the Town of Myersville’s request to hold a re-hearing on the Allegheny Storage Project.
The Town of Myersville formally submitted a request for a re-hearing on January 22, 2013 following the decision to FERC to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Dominion Transmission, Inc. (DTI).
"This project continues to be of great concern to town officials and residents. [M]any in the community have questions about the effects this project may have on air quality, public health, the environment, and local economic interests," Senators Mikulski and Cardin and Congressman Van Hollen wrote. "It is critically important that this project be vetted in a thorough fashion, in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, so that any potential negative impacts can be discovered and addressed before moving forward. To that end, we will continue to encourage concerned residents to be actively engaged with this process and to voice their opinions with both FERC and Dominion Transmission."
The Certificate would permit DTI to move ahead with construction of the Allegheny Storage Project, which includes a 16,000 horsepower electric turbine natural gas compressor station in the town. The FERC ruling came despite the Mayor & Council’s August 1, 2012 decision denying DTI’s Site Master Plan amendment application due to conflicts with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan and zoning ordinances.
The Myersville’s rehearing request notes that FERC has failed to address safety impacts and noise nuisances, and would hinder viable economic development prospects for the areas targeted for commercial development. It also notes that FERC did not adequately consider the negative impacts of the proposed compressor station on adjacent properties and community at-large. Additionally, the Town’s request also points out that Dominion cannot obtain a necessary State of Maryland Air Quality Permit which is a requirement of the Clean Air Act.
The full text of the letter follows:
January 24, 2013
Mr. Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman
The Honorable Cheryl A. LaFleur
The Honorable Phillip D. Moeller
The Honorable John R. Norris
The Honorable Tony Clark
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE, Room 11H
Washington, D.C. 20426
Re: Docket No. CP12-72-000
Dominion Transmission, Inc.
Allegheny Storage Project
Dear Chairman Wellinghoff and Fellow Commissioners:
We are writing to request your attention and full consideration of the Town of Myersville’s Request for a Rehearing on the Allegheny Storage Project proposed by Dominion Transmission, Inc. This project continues to be of great concern to town officials and residents. As we noted in our previous correspondence, many in the community have questions about the effects this project may have on air quality, public health, the environment, and local economic interests.
The Town of Myersville, in its January 21, 2013 request for a rehearing, outlined the following 7 issues that we believe are worthy of your reconsideration:
1. The Commission erred in inadequately considering the "Application of the Certificate Policy Statement" as it relates to potential system overbuilding.
The Commission did not completely consider the "adverse impact to economic interests on surrounding landowners and economic development of the [Battiata] property," or adjacent properties.
The Commission erred in relying upon the Environmental Assessment in evaluating the potential environmental impacts to town residents by only considering a ½ mile study radius and also inaccurately concluding that the "[Myersville ] site would have environmental advantages," over and above the other alternative sites considered.
The Commission did not completely consider potential negative impacts on Town infrastructure in installing pipelines across Grindstone Run.
The Commission did not adequately evaluate Dominion’s proposals to limit environmental impacts in or potential excessive noise levels within the Environmental Assessment.
The Commission neglected to adequately consider the far-reaching implications raised by the Town’s denial of Dominion’s Site Master Plan amendment as it relates to other plan and permit approvals.
The Commission erred in its failure to deny issuing the Certificate where it is evident that Dominion cannot obtain a necessary State of Maryland Air Quality Permit which is a requirement of the Clean Air Act and for compliance with the Conditions set forth in the Commission’s order.
We are particularly concerned with the compliance with the Clean Air Act and recognition of the authority of the State of Maryland’s Department of the Environment to issue an Air Quality Permit. It is critically important that this project be vetted in a thorough fashion, in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, so that any potential negative impacts can be discovered and addressed before moving forward. To that end, we will continue to encourage concerned residents to be actively engaged with this process and to voice their opinions with both FERC and Dominion Transmission.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We urge your strong consideration of the Town of Myersville request for a rehearing and look forward to hearing from you within 30 days of the date of this letter.