In May of 2013, GASP appealed two nearly identical air permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the Forward Compressor Station and the Jefferson Compressor Station, both located in Butler County. We are pleased to announce that after lengthy negotiations, the parties recently reached a settlement agreement that resolves the issues raised in our appeals.
These facilities are operated by Mountain Gathering, LLC. Each facility includes eight natural gas compressor engines, three process tanks, one flare, and one TEG dehydrator. GASP appealed these permits because it was not shown that emissions would be minimized as much as possible through the use of the best available technology, as required by law. Additionally, although numerical emission limits were included in the plan approval, there were no physical or operational limits to ensure that the emission limits are met, so the numerical limits were unenforceable.
As a result of our appeal, Mountain Gathering will install more effective pollution controls to reduce carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and formaldehyde emissions from the compressor engines located at each facility. The revised plan approvals will also include specific conditions requiring the installation and use of these more effective controls. Additionally, the revised plan approvals include lower emission limits for formaldehyde and VOCs. These changes will reduce potential emissions of VOCs, an ozone precursor, by over 40 tons per year, and potential emissions of formaldehyde, a potent carcinogen, by over 8 tons per year.
The settlement agreement was finalized on December 3, 2013, and GASP formally withdrew its appeal on December 13, 2013. A copy of the settlement agreement can be found here.