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Residents Want to Keep Natural Gas Compressor Out of Somerset County

Spokesman for operator says people will hardly notice it’s there, but locals fear noise and pollution at the very least

Residents of Franklin Township, South Brunswick, and neighboring communities in Somerset County are rushing to register their objections to a proposed natural gas compressor station with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before a looming Thursday deadline.

Worried residents say the proposed 52-acre site of the station is in the middle of a residential community and would produce loud noise, air and water pollution and, perhaps, worse.

The station would act like an electrical transformer, pushing natural gas north to 1.8 million customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. It would run “on natural gas, methane and it produces all kinds of VOCs — volatile organic compounds — and other debris and particulate matter that could also cause all kinds of health problems for lungs and cancer,” said Franklin Township resident Ed Potosnak, who is also executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

The Oklahoma-based Williams Companies, the station operator, says it would take up about six acres, with most of the rest of the 52-acre site left as a buffer. Williams Companies spokesman Chris Stockton said people are “really not going to even know it’s there.”

South Brunswick Councilman Joe Camarota said “… the most egregious issue, at least from my laymen’s perspective, is that this is an active mining drilling site. It’s on a quarry, trap rock quarry. They’re still actively mining and blasting.”

Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.

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