FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MALFUNCTION ALARM SOUNDS FROM MINISINK COMPRESSOR JUST AS RESIDENTS HEAD TO WASHINGTON FOR CHALLENGE BEFORE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT
May 1, 2014
MINISINK, N.Y. : Just as dozens of residents from the town of Minisink, N.Y., were preparing to leave for Washington D.C. in early hour of May 1, to attend oral arguments for their long awaited legal challenge of a federally approved gas compressor station, an alarm sounded at the facility. At about 11:40 p.m.( on Wednesday night) a truck was seen speeding into the driveway.
“As soon as we went outside to pack our car we heard the alarm”, said Leanne Baum, who lives directly across from the facility. ‘Then we saw a Columbia Gas truck flying up the road and suddenly turn into the driveway”, added Ms. Baum who had planned to leave for D.C, at midnight with her four young children.
The 12,260 Horse Power station was built in 2013 by Millennium Pipeline, a subsidiary of Columbia Pipeline Group, formerly known as NiSource despite unprecedented opposition by impacted residents during the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC’s) review process. The project was approved by a rare split 3-2 FERC Commission vote. Dissenting Commissioners rejected the project and argued that the majority failed to consider its significant and permanent adverse impacts upon the host community.
The incident underscores what residents have been saying to regulators and elected officials for the last three year; that this type of facility is too dangerous to be sited in the middle of a residential area. In Minisink there are 200 families living within a half-mile of the facility. Moreover, prominent pipeline engineer, Richard Kuprewicz submitted expert testimony to FERC stating that the Minisink Compressor Station “exceeds prudent design standards and safety margins” . He concluded that, “The Minisink Compressor Project is a very poor proposal and should be rejected.”. In another letter Kuprewicz warns that an explosion at this location can be worse than the San Bruno, CA incident in which 8 people were killed.
“There was definitely some type of mal-function and possible some release. Although it was raining heavily we did see smoke coming from the site”, said Baum. Columbia Pipeline Group also owns and operates the pipeline, which exploded in Sissonville WV last year destroying several nearby homes and melting a portion of an interstate highway.
The case known as MREPS v Federal Energy Regulatory Commission goes before the second highest court in the country, the United Stated Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit., 333 Constitution Ave. N. W. Washington D.C on Thursday, May 1 at 9:30 am. All attendees must be seated by 9:20am.
Residents along with their attorney will meet with supporters and press after the hearing at the Plaza facing Constitution Avenue.
CONTACT Pramilla Malick 646-498-1742 StopMCS@gmail.com