MT. PLEASANT - Joe Zelek does not oppose natural gas drilling in the local area, but when Spectra Energy wanted to build a compressor station in his neighborhood, he knew it could mean trouble.
With the help of Ohio Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, Zelek and Mount Pleasant residents convinced Spectra to move the planned compressor station for the 73-mile natural gas pipeline south to Colerain.
"Wherever you put a pipeline and a compressor, someone will be upset," Cera admitted. "If a pipeline is going to go through, you want it to be built where it will have the least amount of impact."
Photo by Casey Junkins
A Spectra Energy natural gas compressor station that was to be built within a quarter-mile of some Mt. Pleasant homes will now likely be built in Colerain.
Emphasizing that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will get the final say on where the pipeline and compressor are built, Cera said the new location should be at least one-half mile away from any Colerain-area homes.
"I was out there. It seems pretty remote to me," he said regarding the Colerain area location for the pipeline and compressor station.
In contrast, Cera said the original site would have been only about one-quarter mile away from some Mt. Pleasant homes.
"The original site was just too close to our community," said Zelek, a Mt. Pleasant native. "We're pleased that in response to the concerns of organized citizens, the Mt. Pleasant Historical Society, and elected officials such as Rep. Jack Cera, Spectra Energy/Texas Eastern Pipeline has decided to do the right thing and relocate the target site to a remote area."
Area resident Sandra J. Harr also submitted comments to Spectra regarding her concerns about the compressor station. She said it would be too close to her home, livestock and the village of Mt. Pleasant.
FERC has the final decision when it comes to the location of a compressor station on an interstate pipeline, as Cera said this is a large line that will transport natural gas out of eastern Ohio.
"A lot of people focused on the drilling, but did not think about the pipelines that would have to come," Cera said.
Noise and light pollution are some of the problems those who live near compressor stations in Wetzel and Marshall counties have noted. There also are low levels of various emissions that come from the plants, as outlined in legal advertisements.
Some of these emissions are benzene, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, methane, formaldehyde and others.
"It is our hope that this will set a precedent for citizens to voice concerns and for companies to respect our communities, as this industry weaves it's way through the fabric of our beloved Ohio Valley," Zelek said.