The Maryland Department of Natural Resources needs more information about the proposed gas compressor station in Myersville before the agency can conduct a comprehensive analysis of the project's environmental assessment and offer comments, the DNR stated in a recent letter.
Monday was the deadline for comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the project that has generated controversy in the western Frederick County municipality. DNR is the latest entity to submit its comments.
Dominion Transmission Inc. is requesting an amendment to Myersville's master plan to allow construction of the 16,000-horsepower gas compressor station on a 21-acre tract on Milt Summers Road.
The DNR's comments in a July 16 letter to FERC can best be described as a technical review of the project's environmental assessment, DNR's senior environmental reviewer Pam Bush said.
The letter is a standard environmental review the natural resources department issues about projects that could affect DNR land. FERC considers comments from all sources and determines what's relevant, Bush said.
"I'm sure there will be some back and forth between FERC and DNR," Bush said. "Our comments are technical in nature. They deal with issues such as water quality and offer recommendations if the project moves forward."
FERC makes the final decision about the project, Bush said, "but we have a role due to DNR's land interests."
According to the letter from Frank W. Dawson III, DNR's assistant secretary for aquatic resources, the project is proposed for construction in an area that contains a number of state parks, the Appalachian Trail and is actively used for a range of recreational activities, including hiking, Civil War re-enactments and historical interpretation.
In order for the natural resources department to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the project and offer comments, FERC and DTI should provide copies of documents that identify activities, procedures and best management practices to deal with spill prevention and response, erosion control, revegetation, maintenance, wetland and water-body construction, and mitigation procedures, according to the letter.
The natural resources department would also need to review the alignment sheets and any other relevant design plans and construction drawings for the project, pipelines to be constructed, replaced or modified to support the compressor station, and construction staging areas located off the compressor station site, the DNR stated.
Myersville has its own forest resource ordinance program, and given the location of the project, forest conservation matters will likely fall under Myersville's oversight, the letter stated.
The agency also needs more detailed information regarding visual and noise impacts to the views from and activities on protected land, the DNR said.
The agency is aware that "project reviews of this nature and scope are an interactive process that will continue as new information becomes available, project modifications occur, and as the project continues through the state and federal permit process," the DNR said.
IF YOU GO
- WHAT: Public hearing on proposed gas compressor station
- WHEN: 7 p.m., Wednesday
- WHERE: Myersville municipal building, 301 Main St., Myersville
- INFO: Myersville planning and zoning administrator Brad Dyjak, 301-293-4281