WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today sent a letter to the Commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to pay close attention to the concerns of Frederick County residents near the towns of Myersville, Middletown and Jefferson about the proposed construction of a new natural gas compressor near the three communities. Residents have expressed serious concerns about the plan of Dominion Transmission, Inc. to locate the compressor near populated areas, particularly after a large explosion occurred at a similar facility in Artemas, PA, on November 3, 2011 that destroyed two buildings and forced the evacuation of 50 homes.
Below is the text of the letter to the FERC commissioners:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First St., NE
Washington, DC 20426
Dear Chairman Wellinghoff and Fellow Commissioners:
The Allegheny Storage Project proposed by Dominion Transmission, Inc. has raised serious concerns among residents living in and near the towns of Myersville, Middletown, and Jefferson in Frederick County, Maryland. The explosion of a gas compressor station near Artemas, Pennsylvania earlier this month served as a timely reminder of the risks of locating such stations near homes, schools, and businesses.
Many residents have contacted our offices with specific concerns about negative impacts that the project could have on the environment, air quality and noise, agricultural and cultural resources, and public safety. We have encouraged residents to be actively engaged throughout the scoping process and Environmental Assessment (EA). Many of these residents have provided comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on the scope of the issues to be addressed in the EA.
We urge FERC to pay close attention to the concerns shared by residents of these communities in preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) and determining whether to issue a certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Moreover, we urge the Commission to commit itself to involving all interested stakeholders in identifying and resolving issues and evaluating possible alternatives during the pre-filing review and throughout the preparation of the EA.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We are confident that FERC will go beyond meeting the minimum requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in considering this proposal.