Supervisors should fight harder to protect residents' health

| 26 Feb 2015 | 01:15

    To the Editor:
    Despite overwhelming evidence attesting to the adverse health effects of constructing an enormous gas-powered compressor station on Fire Tower Road, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have sided with Ni-Source and have given the green light to proceed with construction. Yet, some 200 Pike County residents attended a DEP hearing not long ago where ALL of the speakers spoke forcefully against construction of this facility and expressed a wide range of concerns about its adverse effects on the health of their families and their own selves. Clearly, in the judgments rendered by these distant entities, the health and well-being of Milford and Pike County residents are of lesser concern than the profits of Ni-Source.

    An obvious way to avert most of the anticipated health problems from a large compressor station is to construct an electric-powered generator rather than a gas-powered generator. Although that solution would be a bit more costly for Ni-Source they can afford it! Moreover, the long-term financial benefits of employing an electric-powered generator are likely to be enormous both for Pike County and for Ni-Source.

    Is it within the power of the Board of Supervisors to halt construction of a gas-powered compressor — at least in the short run — by denying construction permits until critical questions about the risks entailed are answered satisfactorily by Ni-Source and relevant experts? If so, our Supervisors should protect the health of residents by doing so. Is this not perhaps the most important function of elected officials? Is it not the quality of leadership that is needed and expected when citizens face bodily harm from profit-obsessed corporations with little interest in their health?

    Ronald Feldman