Residents rally against compressor station

Oct 13, 2015

Credit Kinder Morgan website

New York may have banned hydraulic fracturing for natural gas- aka fracking - but that does not mean residents of upstate New York are no longer concerned. Controversial pipelines that would pump gas fracked in Pennsylvania across New York State into New England are proposed, and to ensure the gas stays moving, compressor stations would be built along the pipeline route.

Residents living near the proposed Nassau Compressor Station, just 2,000 feet south of Rensselaer County’s Burden Lake, say they are mounting a strong grassroots effort to stop the Texas-based energy company Kinder Morgan from building a compressor station near them, or anywhere else. The compressor station would be a crucial part of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline.

Led by the grassroots organization Save Burden Lake, residents packed to Tavern on the Green at the Burden Lake Country Club to hear a presentation given by Shelia Bushkin-Bedient, an affiliate of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University at Albany, to present her findings on the dangers a compressor station poses to the surrounding community.

Leaders of Save Burden Lake say members have filed numerous comments to FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, expressing their opposition to the Nassau Compression Station in Rensselaer County or anywhere else.

The FERC Comment Period ends October 16, the same date when Kinder Morgan is expected to presents its environmental impact statement. Save Burden Lake activists say they will comb through every single page of the Kinder Morgan statement, to ensure all of their concerns have been addressed. The group says it’s also put in mitigation so that if FERC gives approval for the Nassau Compressor Station, questions (e.g. would they require electric compressors or would they re-route emissions back into the station) would be part of the process.

Save Burden Lake admits they could find themselves in a legal battle with an energy giant and are hoping to join with other similar groups and generate enough donations to mount the effort.

For its part, Kinder Morgan maintains the Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline and all infrastructure related to it would be safely installed and run with minimal impacts on its neighboring communities.