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Air Quality and Health Impacts of New Pipelines In West Virginia

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Air Quality and Health Impacts of New Pipelines In West Virginia. Prepared for Citizens Meeting Durbin, WV August 7, 2014. Matt Walker and Sam Koplinka-Loehr Clean Air Council. Presentation Overview. Introduction. Air Pollution Sources from Pipelines. Health Impacts of Pollutants.

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Presentation Transcript

Air Quality and Health Impacts of

New Pipelines In West Virginia

Prepared for Citizens Meeting

Durbin, WV

August 7, 2014

Matt Walker and Sam Koplinka-Loehr

Clean Air Council

presentation overview
Presentation Overview


Air Pollution Sources from Pipelines.

Health Impacts of Pollutants.

Extra Resources:

Pipeline Information.

Regulatory Information.

Citizen Action!

Photo Source: Bob Donnan:

clean air council marcellus shale program
Clean Air Council Marcellus Shale Program

Lawsuits against polluters or agencies.

Track current rulemaking and write comments on regulations.

Work with residents to comment and testify on natural gas equipment.

Community actions to achieve goals outside of regulatory pathways.

the guts of a compressor station
The Guts of a Compressor Station

NOx, PM, CO2, VOCs, HAPs, CH4

fugitive emissions leakages
Fugitive Emissions/Leakages

Leakage from Compressor Stations. Source: EPA

truck traffic
Truck Traffic

NOx, PM, CO2

condensate tanks
Condensate Tanks


flaring venting


Source: Frank Finan

unplanned events
Unplanned Events

2012 Columbia Pipeline Group Explosion in Sissonville West Virginia.

biggest nox contributors
Biggest NOx Contributors

Adapted from Allen Robinson,

biggest voc contributors
Biggest VOC Contributors

Adapted from Allen Robinson,


Dallas Fort Worth

In 2009, the gas industry released more smog-forming emissions than all cars and trucks in the Dallas metro area

  • New York Times article citing Armendariz’s 2009 report, supported by Texas Commission on Environmental Quality


42-inch Pipeline Compressor Stations

  • Spectra Algonquin Pipeline.

Stony Point Compressor Station Emissions: School Bus Equivalent

  • Compared to other 42” pipeline compressor stations, emissions could equal 700 constantly idling diesel school buses on average.
potential health impacts from nitrogen oxide nox
Potential Health Impacts from Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)
  • High levels:
    • rapid burning, spasms, and swelling of throat and upper respiratory tract.
    • reduced O2 in tissues.
    • fluid build-up in lungs.
  • Low levels:
    • eye, nose, throat & lung irritation.
    • coughing, shortness of breath.
    • tiredness, nausea.


potential health impacts from hazardous air pollutants haps
Potential Health Impacts from Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)

VOCs:, Formaldehyde: ,

Hydrogen Sulfide:

  • Includes known and suspected carcinogens.
  • Skin, eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system over time.
potential health impacts from fine particulate matter
Potential Health Impacts from Fine Particulate Matter
  • Long-term exposure
    • Increase in risk of cancer.
    • Exacerbates lung disease.
  • Short-term exposure
    • Eye, nose, and throat irritation.

VOCs + NOx + Sunlight.

Major component of smog.

Source of Precursors: compressor engines, engine exhaust, flaring, fugitive methane, open-air impoundments.

potential health impacts from ozone
Potential Health Impacts from Ozone


American Lung Association, “Health Effects of Ozone and Particle Pollution,” State of the Air, 2011; President’s Cancer Panel, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, 2008-2009 Annual Report (National Cancer Institute, May 2010).

Aggravation of asthma, bronchitis & emphysema and increased susceptibility to pneumonia & bronchitis.

Linked to bladder, breast, and lung cancers, stroke, diabetes, lung damage, and premature death.

Throat irritation, congestion, coughing, and chest pain.

Wheezing and breathing difficulties.

other health considerations
Other Health Considerations

Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D., Ekaterina Alexandrova, Jackie Travers. May 19, 2010. Radioactivity in Marcellus Shale. Radioactive Waste Management Associates.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Hazard Alert for Worker Exposure to Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing. Retrieved from:

  • Silica Dust
    • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently identified airborne silica exposure as a health hazard to workers at fracking operations.
    • Causes silicosis (lung disease).
  • Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials
    • Natural gas in the Marcellus Shale has one of the highest concentrations of cancer-causing NORMS compared to other types of shale deposits.
    • The DOH and EPA consider radon to be a human carcinogen.
health impact research
Health Impact Research

2013: McKenzie et al. found elevated risk of birth defects in populations residing within a ten-mile radius of gas wells.

2013: Interdisciplinary group of Texas researchers found toxic chemicals were “strongly associated” with air testing surrounding compressor stations.

2011: A team led by Theo Colburn of the Endocrine Disruptor Exchange found that 25% of chemicals known to be used in fracking fluids are implicated in cancer, 37% in endocrine system disruption, and 75% could affect the skin, eyes and respiratory system.


  • Matt Walker,
  • Sam Koplinka-Loehr,
know your rights
Know Your Rights!

For Landowners, you have the right to say no to the pipeline and organize to stop the project.

The three companies do not currently have any rights to your land for surveying or any other purpose.

You have the right to negotiate for a contract that covers lawyers fees, land remediation, insurance, and any other condition that you want.

regulatory timeline
Regulatory Timeline
  • Fall 2014: FERC pre-filing process begins for Dominion SE Reliability.
    • Public comment period begins.
  • Summer 2015: Dominion formal FERC application.
    • Filing to intervene in the process gives you the right to request company materials and appeal the decision.
talking points and questions for ferc and state agencies
What will the annual emissions from the compressor stations be?

Request a public health impact study.

What hazardous waste oversight will there be of condensate tanks on site?

Best practices for compressor stations:

Blowdown Injection

Electric Compressors

Hazardous Material Management Plan

Zero Emission Condensate Tanks

Talking points and Questions for FERC and State Agencies
electric compressors
Electric Compressors
  • Greatly reduce emissions
  • Depending on gas prices, can pay back within 3 years
re routing blowdown gas
Re-routing Blowdown Gas
  • EPA standards recommend re-routing blowdown gas into sales lines or intersecting pipelines rather than doing an atmospheric release
  • Greatly reduces emissions
  • Depending on gas prices, can pay back within 2 years


  • Industry-funded commission
  • FERC works to “Promote the development of safe, reliable and efficient energy infrastructure that serves the public interest.”
  • According to the Office of the President, FERC took action on 92% of pipelines between 2009-2013 with a year
  • The General Accounting Office has found that average FERC approval time from pre-filing to certification is 558 days
  • The Pipeline Safety Trust has been unable to find a single instance of FERC denying approval for an interstate gas transmission line



Why Pipelines?

  • Gas Boom
  • Current daily Marcellus production is 14.5 billion cubic feet
  • Companies are trying to get gas from the shale fields to national and international markets



mountain valley pipeline
Mountain Valley Pipeline
  • EQT and Nextra Energy joint project
  • “Open season” just began in June, 2014


  • 330 miles of pipeline
  • 42” pipeline diameter
  • 2 billion cubic feet/day
southeast reliability pipeline
Southeast Reliability Pipeline
  • Dominion Resources
  • Subcontracted land agents & surveying: Doyle Land Services
  • Dominion plans to initiate FERC process in Fall, 2014


  • 550 miles
  • 42” pipeline width
  • 1.5 billion cubic feet/day


spectra pipeline
Spectra Pipeline
  • Spectra Energy
  • Currently beginning “open season”
  • From Southwest Pennsylvania to North Carolina


  • 427 miles
  • 42” pipeline width
  • 1.1 billion cubic feet/day