Neighbors, Gas Company At Odds Over Compression Station Proposal

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 23:55:50-04
Neighbors in another Nashville community are up in arms over a gas compression station proposal. NewsChannel 5 has been covering the Kinder Morgan compressor station proposed in Joelton for months.

The latest proposal comes from the Columbia Pipeline Group, as they hope to expand their pipeline capacity through Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

With seven new stations proposed, one lands in Southeast Nashville in the neighborhood of Cane Ridge. It's a quiet but booming part of town.

And it's where Matt Arcani moved with his family about a year ago. He says a gas compressor station would threaten his and his neighbors' quality of life.

"You can hear it and it just sounds like a whining jet engine so that's one of the major concerns," he said, "another one is air pollution." 

Arcani is President of the group Keep Southeast Nashville Healthy, formed because of the issue. He and more than a hundred of his neighbors showed up Tuesday to Cane Ridge High School to speak directly to representatives from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Most were focused on the noise, the air quality and possible health hazards from the station.

Folks with the Columbia Pipeline Group were also in the crowd, listening. They hosted a town hall for the neighborhood when the station was first proposed and say they want to be good neighbors.

"That's our idea with buying 90 acres instead of just what we need," said Communications Manager Scott Castleman, "leave that area for a buffer between the community and our infrastructure." The actual station will take up about 11 acres, he said.

He also pointed out that the feds strictly regulate noise and pollutant levels, comparing the noise threshold to a dishwasher in your home. He said the 41,000 horsepower station will stay below those levels.

"We operate in very rural areas as well as very urban areas so this is common to us," he said.

Columbia Pipeline Group operates around 100 compressor stations across the country. The Cane Ridge station would connect to pipeline the company has operated in the area for decades.

FERC environmental staff will take public comments into account along with written submission as they put together a report showing the exact impact to the area. That report will go to the Presidentially-appointed commissioners who will approve or deny the 7-station project next summer.

Because of the Joelton fight Metro Council voted last year to restrict all compression stations to industrial zones only. But, the actual authority sits with the federal commission, so the ordinance is unenforceable. Some also consider it illegal.