MarkWest Request to Expand Gas Compressor Facilities in Washington County, PA Denied

As MDN has previously reported (see this story), MarkWest Energy operates more than 100 gas compressor facilities, including two in Mount Pleasant Township in Washington County, PA—the location of the very first horizontally drilled Marcellus Shale gas well. There has been tension between area residents and MarkWest about the facilities over issues of noise, lights and odors coming from the facilities. A few months ago MarkWest made application to expand the facilities but the Mt. Pleasant Township Zoning board has just turned them down:

The board denied a request from Mark West Liberty Midstream to expand its Fulton and Stewart compressing stations.

The company had made the request to add two engines at each site and expand the steel structures. The company processes gas for Range Resources.*

MDN doubts this will be the end of this story. There is an ongoing debate about just who has authority to regulate pipelines and compressor facilities, and the matter is far from settled. Does regulation for these types of facilities lie with local governments? Or is it a “utility” that is/should be regulated by the state rather than local authorities? Stay tuned.

*Washington Observer-Reporter (May 12) – Board nixes expansion for gas compressing stations in Mt. Pleasant Township