Millennium to pay for health study

Posted 8/21/12

MONTICELLO, NY — The Millennium Pipeline Company has agreed to pay for a health study, according to Sullivan County Legislator Scott Samuelson.

At a meeting at the government center on …

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Millennium to pay for health study

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MONTICELLO, NY — The Millennium Pipeline Company has agreed to pay for a health study, according to Sullivan County Legislator Scott Samuelson.

At a meeting at the government center on April 21, legislators discussed supporting the position of the four towns in Sullivan County who have expressed opposition to the creation of a compressor station along the Millennium Pipeline near Eldred.

One of the requests from groups opposed to the pipeline is that a health impact assessment be performed on the likely health impacts of the proposed compressor station, and Samuelson said Millennium had agreed to pay for such a study.

He said Millennium had requested that the county take the lead on the study, rather than having Millennium or a community group hire someone to perform the study. Samuelson said, “The plan would be to have the county prepare a request for proposals, bring back the responses to Millennium and the community groups,” and have them sign off on the choice. He said, “At that point, we’ll know what we’re dealing with in real terms,” regarding the two existing compressor stations in Hancock and Minisink and the proposed new one in Eldred.

He noted that the Town of Highland had passed an anti-fracking law, and that local law would also prohibit the installation of a compressor station. He said, “I don’t know who will have the ultimate jurisdiction, I assume it’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). I don’t know if there will be a legal battle, but I support the town in their local law. But I also support finding out real answers and real truth before we continue to put out negative information that is going to affect our land values, our tourism industry and our second-home community.”

The rest of the legislature agreed that they should move forward with a health study paid for by Millennium.

One of the people who attended the meeting was James Gutekunst, deputy supervisor for the Town of Highland. Asked for his reaction to the proposed health study he said it was a “step in the right direction,” but noted it could take 20 years of exposure to emissions from the compressor for cancer to possibly be triggered, and therefore wonders how comprehensive the proposed health study would be.

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