Join us for a public meeting on the results of the air quality monitoring we conducted with families living near the Ceredo Compressor Station.*
The meeting takes place at the Spring Valley Presbyterian Church, 1129 Spring Valley Dr., Huntington, WV 25701.
*Want more background on that air quality monitoring effort? Please read the story below, which appears on page 4 in OVEC’s 2019 Fall newsletter.
Pipeline Proliferation What’s New in the Air in Ceredo?
by Robin Blakeman
You may remember that, back in 2016, we alerted folks to expansion going on at the Ceredo Columbia Gas/TransCanada compressor station, located on Walker’s Branch Road in the Ceredo area (see: ohvec.org/fercs-less-than-significant).
This station was already a substantially sized compressor station, with at least two older gas lines—the SM-80 and SM-90—feeding into it. According to 2015 EPA data, about 5,000 people in 2,000 households live within two miles of the compressor station.
Back in 2016, two pipelines were being expanded and routed to this compressor station: the Leach Xpress and the Rayne Xpress.
Since then, major renovation and expansion of the old SM-80 pipeline has been done to construct the Mountaineer Xpress pipeline (MXP). This 36-inch-diameter pipeline originates in Marshall County, WV, and supposedly “terminates” in Milton, but it doesn’t… a smaller compressor station there routes the gas to the Ceredo compressor station via the much older and mostly smaller diameter SM-80 and SM-90 lines—through suburban and rural areas south and west of the Huntington city area.
We have recently submitted comments of opposition to another Columbia/TransCanada pipeline in our region: the proposed Buckeye Xpress. If built, this pipeline would transverse the Wayne National Forest area of southeastern Ohio, run near schools and small communities in Lawrence County, OH, and, we believe, cross under the Ohio River near the Leach Xpress crossing, connecting to the Ceredo compressor station. We have signed on to an effort to intervene in the approval process of this newest Columbia/TransCanada pipeline project.
All of this pipeline construction has been of great concern to us. Over the past two years, we’ve deployed volunteer stream-testing teams in five WV counties to monitor the water quality near construction sites for the MXP. Our staff and stream-testing teams have made numerous reports to WVDEP about erosion control problems, and, in one instance, what appeared to be an illegal stream crossing.
We hope this has helped to make the pipeline construction as well monitored and safe as possible in our area, but the jury is still out. MXP has recently been put into operation, but WVDEP has not yet released Columbia/TransCanada from their construction permit obligations, due to ongoing hillside erosion and stream sedimentation issues. This is a huge concern, because the MXP’s companion line, the Leach Xpress, exploded near Moundsville, WV, soon after being put online, due to an erosion issue that was not effectively dealt with during construction. These pipelines have their extreme risks, for sure, which is why we’ve tried to do everything possible to oppose and/or monitor their construction in our area.
We have lately turned our attention to the Ceredo compressor station air emissions, knowing that a much greater quantity and higher pressure of gas is flowing through this recently expanded facility. In cooperation with the SW Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP), we have initiated a pilot air testing and health study project this summer. Three key volunteers participated in a training session to do outreach for this project, and a total of four households within a two-mile radius of the compressor station are taking part in the project.
These four homeowners agreed to install indoor and outdoor air monitoring equipment for about a month. All the households, plus some other residents in who live within a two-mile radius of the compressor station, will be asked to complete health surveys. At the conclusion of the project, after the air quality monitoring equipment data has been analyzed, we will schedule a community meeting to discuss the results. So, stay tuned for more on air quality in the Ceredo area.
If you would like more information about the pipeline proliferation in our area or about the Ceredo air quality monitoring project, and/or if you live within a two-mile radius around the compressor station and would be interested in completing a health survey, please contact me at 304-522-0246 or email@example.com.