After officially submitting its reasons for denying a Virginia company’s proposal to build a natural-gas compressor station in town, Myersville is waiting for a federal agency to make its decision.
On Thursday, town officials filed a written response with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission explaining why they had denied the proposal from the Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Transmission Inc. to build the compressor station at the intersection of Md. 17 and Milt Summers Road. FERC will have the final say on the project.
The five-member Myersville Town Council unanimously rejected the proposal on Aug. 1.
The proposed project would take up a 21-acre tract of land that could be commercially valuable to the town, and is inconsistent with the intended zoning of the area, according to the documents town officials submitted.
The compressor station would also present a public health hazard and noise nuisance, the town wrote.
Regular emergency tests at the site could release as much as 15,000 cubic feet of gas with each test, and “low-frequency noise [from the site] would pose a nuisance to the public,” according to town officials.
In March, an explosion that damaged a compressor station in Scranton, Pa., shook homes up to a half-mile away, although damage was contained to the site and no one was injured in the incident, according to the Scranton (Pa.) Times-Tribune.
The compressor would work as a pumping station, providing more pressure to move natural gas through the pipeline.
Dominion was still reviewing the findings and had no comment Tuesday, company spokesman Chuck Penn said in an email.
FERC spokesman Craig Cano said the Myersville plan remains under review, with no deadline for the commission to take action.
The commission is responsible for regulating the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil and electricity, as well as natural gas and hydropower projects in the United States.
Myersville Town Planner Brad Dyjak said a FERC hearing about the proposal will likely be held in October, with a decision expected by early December.
Dyjak said the town hasn’t reached out to U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Dist. 6) or other legislators to discuss the situation, but would submit copies of their findings to Bartlett, Maryland U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D) and Benjamin Cardin (D), as well as members of the county’s delegation to the General Assembly.
The town would have to consider making a stronger appeal to legislators if FERC issues a decision that is unfavorable to the town, he said.
If Myersville is unhappy with the decision, it could ask the commission for a rehearing, followed by possible challenge in federal court.
“Depending on how things play out, those will all be items to be discussed and reviewed,” Dyjak said.