By Jessica Cohen
For the Pocono Record
MILFORD TWP. - After many phone calls and letters, Gary Clark, vice chairman of the Milford township supervisor board, says he has found a Columbia Pipeline Group representative who will listen to community concerns about Columbia’s planned expansion of the Milford natural-gas compressor station.
Columbia has announced its intention to replace the station with a station having 13 times its current 9,600-horsepower.
Clark said that Brendan Neal, manager of community relations and stakeholder outreach for Columbia Pipeline Group, subsidiary of NiSource Inc., has requested that community members with concerns about the compressor expansion call him, and he will arrange a meeting with them as a group.
The phone number Clark provided is 202-216-9776.
Community members — particularly residents on Fire Tower Road, where the compressor station is located — have repeatedly cited concerns about emissions, noise, vibrations and “blow-outs” of pipeline contents when pipelines are checked.
Clark said he discussed with Neal the possibility of building an electric compressor station, which would not have the emissions of a gas-powered compressor.
“He isn’t against it. I’m not saying he’s going to do it,” Clark said.
Meanwhile, Clark said the issue of Columbia submitting to a township conditional-use hearing is still “in limbo.”
“We have to be careful about what we say about it,” said Don Quick, chairman of the township supervisor board. “We can’t make decisions about an application that isn’t before us.”
Clark said that although representatives from Tennessee Gas Pipeline, which intersects with Columbia at the compressor station, have regularly had conditional-use hearings when appropriate, Columbia never did.
Complaints of gas fumes around the Milford compressor station were recently resolved when a leak was found in Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s lines.