Family near Hancock Compressor Station evacuated
December 6, 2013 —
A family that lives across the street from the Hancock Compressor Station, which has been under construction on Hungry Hill Road in the Town of Hancock, was evacuated late in the evening on December 5th, and were warned that the crew working on constructing the station had encountered a problem.
Jessica Kenyon, who lives at the residence with her family, said that at about 9:30 a Millennium Pipeline project manager and one of the workers knocked on her door and said they had they were going to have to perform an “emergency blowout,” and that was going to be loud, 100 decibels or louder, and that was a concern.
She said also, “you don’t know what else could happen,” She said that if they wanted to leave the house before that happened they would have to leave be 10:00 p.m., and the event would last several hours. Kenyon has two children, aged four and thirteen and decided to leave. She said a representative called at about 4:30 a.m. and told the family they could return home.
Kenyon said it has “been a stressful year”. She said she has raised her concerns at town board meetings and meetings of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and has still has serious concerns about the safety of the project. She said, “They haven’t even built the building yet and they are already having this kind of trouble.”
Steve Sullivan, a spokesman for the Millennium Pipeline Company, confirmed Kenyon’s account. He said workers were installing a piece of equipment used for connecting the compressor station to the main pipeline and “they experienced a problem.”
He said they realized they had to reduce the pressure on the main line which involves releasing the gas from the line, and prior to that they notified the family that they had could evacuate or remain inside the house while the work was performed. Sullivan said on the morning of December 6 crews were working to restore the line to full operation.
The location has a history of tension between the pipeline company and residents. As a press release from Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy pointed out, “The Hancock Compressor Station is being built in the midst of a vacation community on land Millennium acquired after it destroyed the septic system, contaminated the water well, and caused structural damage to a house on the site during its pipeline expansion in 2007 and 2008.”