Friday, August 9, 2019

Impact of Proposed Metering Station on Longmeadow Health/ Safety

Michele Marantz

This LongmeadowBuzz post was submitted by Michele Marantz, chair of the Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group.  This post is an effort to share information with town residents about the potential impact on health and safety of the proposed natural gas metering station that will be constructed in Longmeadow.

Someone once said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Because there is truth to that statement, here are two videos for those who are uncertain about the nature of emissions spewing from compressor and meter stations.  Please take a few minutes to view these FLIR videos shown below of the Agawam compressor station and the West Roxbury meter station (included because that station is the same kind of infrastructure intended for Longmeadow.)

Note: The FLIR Gas Detection cameras are infrared cameras which are able to visualize gas by utilizing the gas physics. The camera produces a full picture of the scanned area and leaks appear as smoke on the camera’s viewfinder or LCD, allowing the user to see fugitive gas emissions.  

Both stations emit methane, a colorless and odorless gas that that is 64 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere.  In addition, because what we call “natural” gas now contains significant amounts of fracked gas, current gas emissions include contaminants like benzene, formaldehyde, lead, mercury radon, and nitrous oxide, pollutants linked with problems like asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease.

On a local level, emissions from the Agawam compressor and the proposed Longmeadow meter stations will be trapped over our area any time there is a temperature inversion or low pressure system, inevitably contributing to the recognized poor quality of our air.

Finally, when you look at the videos, you’ll see a white center amid cloud-like portions that are the polluting emissions.  To those who want to dismiss the plumes as mere heat emissions, note that when the camera moves toward the right, it registers the ambient temperature as 28 degrees.  As the camera moves to the left toward the white portions, the camera still registers the air temperature as 28 degrees.  What you are witnessing with the “plumes” is, in fact, the station’s hydrocarbon footprint.

FLIR- West Roxbury Metering Station

FLIR- Agawam Compressor Station

Our thanks to No Fracked Gas in Mass for their help in providing this information and in interpreting the videos.

Michele Marantz/ Chair- Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group