Researchers to present health hazard findings regarding pipeline stations
DEERFIELD — The team of researchers that studied the health effects of a 12,000-horsepower gas pipeline compressor in Minisink, N.Y., will present their findings at Frontier Regional High School this Saturday.
The team includes Celia Lewis, Ph.D., Beth Weinberger, Ph.D., and Dr. David Brown, who all work for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit organization created in 2011 to inform individuals about the health hazards of natural gas infrastructure with scientifically based research.
“We are a public health organization that addresses the concerns of people who feel they’ve been impacted by natural gas development or think they might be impacted,” Lewis said. “We will discuss how we do that and will focus on what we’ve learned about compressors and pipelines, including information about emissions and health effects.”
Lewis said throughout the past year, the organization received numerous inquiries from individuals and groups throughout Massachusetts requesting the team to speak about its research on the topic of natural gas. Deerfield was seen as a central location that would appeal to people trying to fight the Spectra pipeline in the east and the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline in the west.
“We are looking forward to coming,” Lewis said. “We very much want to hear from the community about what their questions and concerns are and want to see if we can address them.”
Rosemary Wessel, founder of state environmental group ‘No Fracked Gas in Mass,’ couldn’t predict how many people will attend the afternoon seminar, but has heard that residents from New Hampshire and New York are planning on driving over for the session. She also hopes that it will attract local town leaders.
“People are very excited,” Wessel said. “It can inform town officials like the Selectmen and Board of Health members because it’s a medical research team, not an advocacy group. These folks present facts and it’s enlightening knowing that they’ve helped towns understand what they are grappling with as far as impacts.”
The presentation will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Deerfield and Northfield. It’s recommended that attendees arrive early just in case the auditorium fills its 450 seat capacity.
The controversial NED gas pipeline project is expected to transport 1.2 billion cubic feet of gas through eight Franklin County towns.