Questar introduces plan to commission
|Diminishing fuel supplies at locations outside Castle Valley are making it possible for Questar to put in equipment with more capacity to handle gas from the local area and to transport it to distant markets.At last Wednesday's commission meeting, representatives of landowners in the Carbonville area raised concerns regarding new and expanded equipment at the Questar facility near Wood Hill Road and 1100 North in Price.|
At last Wednesday's commission meeting, representatives of landowners in the Carbonville area raised concerns regarding new and expanded equipment at the Questar facility near Wood Hill Road and 1100 North in Price.
The exchanges between Questar representatives and some local land owners began after a company spokesman made an informational presentation to the commission.
"Right now we are in the early stages of a project that we want to introduce you to," stated Russell Kirlin, a community relations manager for the gas distributor. "The final design is still down the road but basically we are proposing to add some pipeline and more compression equipment at the Price site."
Kirlin explained that the diminishing supplies of gas in other parts of the country is now making it possible for Questar to put in equipment with more capacity to handle gas from the area and to transport it to distant markets.
"We want to add 24 more miles of 16 inch diameter pipe and of course that will mean we must add a couple of more compression units," he explained. "That additional equipment will allow us to deliver 105,000 more decotherms of gas to customers each day."
According to natural gas officials, a decotherm is 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas.
Kirlin continued to explain to those present at the meeting that earlier this year natural gas was selling at a wholesale price of $1.50 per decotherm and it has now gone up, because of demand and short supplies, to nearly $5.
"The prices were suppressed for a long time but now they are starting to rise because the supply is lagging behind the demand," he told the assembled group. "In fact, Questar has asked for a 25 percent increase from the public utilities commission as a pass through increase to cover out costs."
But a few local landowners and residents from nearby areas have concerns about the new developments that may be put in place at the site.
"I am attempting to develop some property near the present Questar plant," stated local resident Vic Santi. "If this new equipment goes in it will not only be noisy but will also cause odors in the area. That could affect the property values. Isn't there somewhere else this could be located?"
Kirlin went on to explain that the reason for locating the new equipment at the site is because of it's proximity to current lines. He also explained that the new compressors would be located inside insulated buildings to keep the noise down, thereby meeting federal sound regulations.
As for the odor, other Questar representatives at the meeting disputed the fact that odors are present at the plant. However, two other local residents disagreed.
"I live just below that plant and both the noise and the odors are a problem," stated Lou Devey. "The odors are worse in the winter."
Jana Hoyt, who actually lives on the other side of Wood Hill also commented that at times they get odors from the plant.
"The plant will not exceed 55 dB at the fence line, which meets the federal regulations," pointed out Kirlin. "As for the odors, if people are having problems with that or anything else, they need to contact us."
Dave Levanger, the counties planning and zoning director, commented that he felt the sound at the perimeters of the property should actually be no more than 35 db.
Commissioner Bill Krompel also brought up concerns about the safety of the additional system so close to residences.
But Questar representatives in attendance at the meeting pointed out that pressures and temperatures are continually monitored and that the equipment automatically shuts off in the event of a fire.
"The fact is that we just came to give preliminary information to the commission," stated Kirlin. "Before we start anything we will need not only a conditional use permit but a federal OK on the project as well."
After discussing the Questar situation, the commission made the following actions:
Ratified an agreement to partially pay for a full time fire warden that will also be funded by Emery County, the U.S. Forest Service and the state of Utah. The warden will work in both Carbon and Emery counties.
The commision agreed to a standard lease for gas development on county land near Kenilworth by Anadarko Oil.
A final approval was given for a $12,000 grant to the Helper Arts Festival. This money will come from the restaurant tax fund.