Western NY, Finger Lakes, & the Southern Tier

Health Impacts of Compressor Stations & Other Gas Infrastructure

Note: It is somewhat difficult to find scientific literature completely focused on the impacts of compressor stations, but many research articles look at compressor stations along with other gas infrastructure.


Summary of Compressor Station Emissions and their Health Effects (24 Feb 2015, 23 pp)

A very thorough, detailed summary of compressor station air emissions and their health effects. Well referenced, with 81 references. Published by the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project.


Southwest PA Environmental Health Project Website

From the website, “The Environmental Health Project (EHP) is a nonprofit public health organization that assists and supports residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond who believe their health has been, or could be, impacted by unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD, or “fracking”). EHP’s team includes medical professionals, community service professionals, and public health scientists who are available to assist individuals and communities...” The website has much information on how different resources are affected by gas development, and how to test for the effects. They have a multitude of fact sheets on a wide range of related topics. A very thorough resource. Materials are very relevant to residents of New York as well as those from other states.


Madison County’s Baseline Community Environmental Monitoring Results (Aug 2016, 40 pp)

This thorough report may serve as a model for other communities attempting to gather baseline environmental data before gas or oil extraction activities arrive. From the Introduction: “This report contains a summary of environmental monitoring activities conducted between October-December 2015, in 17 homes in the community located within one and a quarter miles from the proposed gas compressor station site in the Town of Georgetown. Items selected for monitoring were those identified in the literature or by researchers as being associated with gas industry products, activities, and/or operations. The sampling results contained in this report represent the completion of phase one of the project and will be used to establish baseline levels in the community.....Home environmental sampling was conducted by Madison County Department of Health staff, except for methane. A series of six visits were made to households to collect environmental sampling data. The environmental sampling results presented in this report include:” (1) Water Quality data for individual onsite wells or springs and surface water (where applicable), (2) Air Quality data for particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and radon, and (3) Noise Level data for homes.


Madison County Dept. of Health Comments on Sheds Compressor Station Portion of Dominion’s New Market Project (15 Oct 2014, 43 pp)

When Dominion filed an application to build a compressor station in Sheds, in Madison County, the Madison County Department of Health filed detailed comments stating that the impacts of public health had not been adequately addressed. The comments discuss the lack of data on compressor station emissions and health effects, present a thorough literature review on compressor station emissions and known health risks associated with the chemicals emitted, and also summarize the health effects associated with compressor stations, and the concerns of local residents. 113 References are Cited.


Dominion Response to Madison County Dept. of Health Comments (5 March 2015, 96 pp)

In response to the Madison County Dept. of Health comments on the Sheds Compressor Station, Dominion hired a consulting firm, Environ, to refute their comments. The report by Environ makes up the bulk of Dominion’s response. See p. 10 for a very good summary of the main points, and further details on pp. 11-17.


Compendium of Health Effects of Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction (14 Oct 2015, 151 pp)

This “Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction)” was compiled by Concerned Health Professionals of NY and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). It is massive and thorough, and contains 653 footnotes, many of which are references.


Community Air Monitoring near Oil and Gas Operations finds Potentially Dangerous Compounds (2014, 18 pp)

“Air Concentrations of Volatile Compounds near Oil and Gas Production: A Community-based Exploratory Study,” Environmental Health. 30 October 2014. 13:82 From the Abstract: “This study differs from prior research in its use of a community-based process to identify sampling locations [near oil and gas operations]. Through this approach, we determine concentrations of volatile compounds in air near operations that reflect community concerns and point to the need for more fine-grained and frequent monitoring at points along the production life cycle.” The study concludes that “Air concentrations of potentially dangerous compounds and chemical mixtures are frequently present near oil and gas production sites. Community-based research can provide an important supplement to state air quality monitoring programs.”


Community Air Monitoring Near Oil and Gas Development Indicate Serious Health Risks (Oct 2014, 40 pp)

“Warning Signs: Toxic Air Pollution Identified at Oil and Gas Sites,” This report “provides results from community air monitoring in those states near oil and gas development sites, including where hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” activities or waste disposal are taking place. Results show a wide range of hazardous chemicals are present in the air at levels above federal health and safety standards. In some cases, monitors revealed concentrations of hazardous chemicals high enough to pose an immediate health threat to people. Community members were trained to collect air samples using equipment and methods certified by federal agencies. They collected air samples when they personally observed activity at the sites or when they suffered symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or breathing problems.


Case Studies of Health Effects near Gas Operations Indicate Current Testing and Risk Assessments are Not Accurate (2014, 16 pp)

“Understanding Exposure from Natural Gas Drilling Puts Current Air Standards to the Test,” Rev. Environ. Health. 2014. 29(4):277-92. D. Brown, B. Weinberger, C. Lewis, and H. Bonaparte. From the Abstract: “Case study descriptions of acute onset of respiratory, neurologic, dermal, vascular, abdominal, and gastrointestinal sequelae near natural gas facilities contrast with a subset of emissions research, which suggests that there is limited risk posed by unconventional natural gas development (UNGD). An inspection of the pathophysiological effects of acute toxic actions reveals that current environmental monitoring protocols are incompatible with the goal of protecting the health of those living and working near UNGD activities.....The objective of this paper is to illustrate that current methods of collecting emissions data, as well as the analyses of these data, are not sufficient for accurately assessing risks to individuals or protecting the health of those near UNGD sites.”


Baseline Methane Study in Hancock, NY (Sept 2014, 9 pp) White Paper (not peer-reviewed)

“Baseline Methane Emissions in Town of Hancock, Del. Co., NY,” by Bryce F. Payne Jr., and Robert Ackley. Describes how a baseline data set on the level of methane in ground-level ambient air in the Town of Hancock, NY was gathered, and how the methodology could be used as a model for other areas. The data indicated “low and consistent methane concentrations throughout the Town except within the village of Hancock and at a location near a natural gas compressor station.” (from Executive Summary)


Speck Sensor Information (from Industry)

Discusses how you can use Speck Sensors to monitor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels in the air.


Resource Links:
Shale Gas Infrastructure Map of New York State
General Background on Compressor Stations
Borger Compressor Station Documents
      Water Pollution and Wetlands Infringement at Borger
Dominion’s New Market Project
     Dominion’s FERC Application & Selected Supporting Documents (2 June 2014)
     FERC Documents Assessing New Market Project
     Dominion’s Air Permit Applications to DEC, Filed 2 June 2014
     Dominion’s Variance Request Documents (Filed with FERC 24 Jan 2017)
     Miscellaneous Dominion New Market Project Documents
Minisink Compressor Station & its Health Impacts
Health Impacts of Compressor Stations & Other Gas Infrastructure

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