The county's first Marcellus Shale compressor station should be operational by September but will be subject to a battery of inspections and emissions tests after the Allegheny County Health Department approved the station permit Friday.
The Superior Appalachian Pipeline project will sit on Kissick Lane near the Pittsburgh Mills Mall in Frazer and process gas extracted from nearby Marcellus wells.
Allegheny County has never been eyed as a potential hot spot for Marcellus Shale gas rigs, but the permit approval does signal the controversial start of midstream operations here that can process and transport the gas found in neighboring counties.
Construction should begin soon, said Ken Magyar, vice president of project development at Superior. The facility will include five compressor engines, three dehydrators and reboilers, and two 6,500-gallon storage tanks, all powered by natural gas.
The company started the permit application process in October and watched as significant community opposition spoke out against the station.
A seven-week comment period drew 183 individuals from the industry and community, and a public hearing was held in March at which residents said heightened regulations were needed for a station in the region's most populous county.
The health department classifies the station as a "minor source" of air toxins. The department had said the station would emit 35 tons of nitrogen oxides and 17 tons of volatile organic compounds per year, along with 7 tons of formaldehyde and about 11 tons of soot and fine particles.
As a result of the public concern, the Superior station's emissions will be tested every three years and be subject to stricter limits on formaldehyde emissions.
Superior, a subsidiary of Tulsa, Okla.-based Superior Pipeline Co. LLC, has a facility in Preston County, W.Va., and a permit pending to build another across Centre and Clearfield counties.
The final Allegheny County permit and all comments and responses are posted on the Air Quality Program section of the Health Department website at www.achd.net/air/.businessnews - marcellusshale
Taryn Luna contributed to this report. Erich Schwartzel: email@example.com or 412-263-1455. First Published May 26, 2012 12:00 AM