You are here

Picketers protest gas compressor expansion in Milford

By Jessica Cohen - Pocono Record, February 4, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

MILFORD — Accusing Columbia Pipeline Group of flagrant disregard for clean air and local laws, about 40 people braved temperatures in the teens Saturday to picket on Broad Street and at CPG’s gas compressor construction site on Fire Tower Road.

Construction workers began showing up in January, within a day or two of successive federal and state approvals, to clear trees and demolish the old compressor station. They work seven days a week, often from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., according to a neighbor of the site.

Last Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved construction of a new compressor, much bigger than the one that had been on the site.

Alex Lotorto, Energy Justice Network organizer, who put together Saturday's demonstrations, said Columbia Pipeline Group has refused to comply with local law requiring a township conditional use hearing.

“In December of 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that townships have both the right and responsibility to protect the environmental rights of their residents,” he said.

An electric compressor would largely eliminate toxic emissions, but would cost CPG several million dollars more than a gas compressor, said Milford township supervisor Gary Clark, who has requested that concession. However, Clark said he and the other township supervisors fear an expensive lawsuit if they legally enforce demands that CPG submit to a conditional use hearing.

David Wallace, an attorney in Montague, N.J., who has litigated against gas companies, questioned that decision.

“When the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down Article 13 (legislation that would have given gas companies more local power), it put the Constitutional responsibility for resources and safety back in the preeminent position where it belonged,” he said. “Townships have a basic responsibility, and they don't really have a good excuse to avoid it.”

One picketer, Justin Snyder, who lives next door to the compressor site, said that since the recent pipeline expansion, gas fumes have been frequent and nauseating, but his complaints have drawn little action.

The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.