**Scroll below to find contact info, talking points and some Q&A items to provide you with more context/details.**
Dear Community Member,
Would you contact Town of Dryden Board members (see below for contact information) or participate in an upcoming (Thursday, Aug 20, 6pm) Dryden Town Board meeting? We need your help with Borger Station - again.
As you may know, after over 2 years of pressure from Mothers Out Front and our allies, we had a major breakthrough working with Dominion and the Town of Dryden (ToD) in January, 2019. The outcome: Dominion is updating their equipment, resulting in the reduction of certain emissions (VOCs, CO, NOx and Formaldehyde) by about 90% . Amazing. Great news for the air in Ellis Hollow.
But what Dominion didn’t tell us at the time was that CO2e (CO2 and methane) would have the potential to increase 32% with the introduction of the new equipment. The carbon equivalent of gas for over 3000+ cars every year. Whoa.
As we (and the town board members) are lay people in the community and not experts in this field, we are asking the Board not to issue a special use permit (SUP) to Dominion without first having a third party environmental engineering firm review the application. NOTE: The cost of the review will be passed on to Dominion.
We, and our kids, will have to live with (and breathe) the outcome of this board decision for decades.
Where you come in…we need the board to hear from community members who will urge them NOT to issue Dominion another SUP without having a complete, independent and expert environmental review of the Dominion application.
ToD board meetings are online via Zoom. So you would speak during the privilege of the floor portion of the meeting (max time 3 minutes/speaker), which is typically right at the start. The Zoom link will be posted on the town website. (Scroll below for more details and contact info.)
Thank you for considering helping out as we build upon the work we have already accomplished together. Please distribute to others in our community. This issue effects all of us, so you do not have to be a Dryden resident to weigh in.
Best wishes to you and yours as we head to Fall,
Mothers Out Front Tompkins
Contact the Dryden Town Board Members:
Jason Leifer, Town Supervisor: jasonLeifer2@dryden.ny.us; 607-233-4839
Dan Lamb, Assistant Town Supervisor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Servoss, Board Member: email@example.com
Loren Sparling, Board Member: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Skaley, Board Member: email@example.com
Bambi Avery, Town Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org (As town clerk, Bambi will forward messages to all board members and your response will be posted on the SUP comments section of the Dryden website.)
Town of Dryden website
Draft Talking Points—Borger Expansion:
Berkshire Hathaway’s Borger Natural Gas Compressor Station in Ellis Hollow is asking the Town Board of Dryden for a permit that would allow it to increase its Greenhouse Gas Emissions (CO2e) by as much as 32% (20,000 tons/year).
• On the face of it, the proposed increase is huge and will affect the environment for as long as Borger operates—in other words, for decades into the future.
• Although required by State Law, Borger so far has not made public how much global warming/climate changing methane it is/will emit or what measures it will take to reduce them.
• Before it gives Borger a permit, the Dryden Town Board has a duty of due diligence under the State “SEQR” Law to study the potential global warming/climate changing impacts of Borger’s projected Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
• The purpose of the study is decide how potentially large and how long the emissions will affect the environment.
• Given the technical nature of a compressor plant’s operations and the interaction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions with the environment, the study the Board must do is complicated and requires special expertise.
• In short, our layperson Town Board should have expert help to gather the necessary information and compare it to the requirements of the State’s SEQR Law.
• The Board often hires experts for just such purposes, so doing so in this case would be business as usual. Our Laws also let the Board charge these expenses to Borger.
• If after doing this due diligence study, the Board decided that the Emissions could cause a significant, negative impact on the environment, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is prepared that lays out what steps Borger would have to take reduce its Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
• Once the reduction measures are agreed upon and put into the EIS, the Board could issue a permit to Borger.
Conclusion and Request: Because Borger has asked for a permit to increase its Greenhouse Gas Emissions by as much as over 20,000 tons/year and 32%, because this increase will be allowed as long as Borger operates, we respectfully request that the Town Board do its due diligence under the SEQR Law with expert assistance to assure that its decision is based on a complete set of the relevant facts and the applicable science.
Questions and Answers:
Q: Why are Borger’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions increasing so dramatically.
A: That is an example of the kind of information that Borger has not disclosed and needs to come out
during the Board’s due diligence study. They could come from increasing the amount of (fracked) gas
through the station—which is very likely, from the new, gas-driven turbines which are at the heart of this
project, or leaks from other equipment. It is also important to learn whether Borger’s projected emissions
include its venting and “blow downs.” Sometimes companies don’t count these emissions.
Q: I’m confused. Borger says the purpose of this project is to reduce air pollution, yet you’re saying its
Greenhouse Gas Emissions are going to increase dramatically.
A: It can be confusing. The State regulates certain air pollutants which they call “Criteria Pollutants” and
Greenhouse Gases (methane and CO2) separately. The Borger proposal is to add equipment that will reduce
“criteria pollutants” but won’t result in reducing their Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
Q: Is Borger likely to cancel its project with its decrease in “criteria pollutants” if the Town Board decides
to require an Environmental Impact Statement concerning the increased Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
A: We think not. The reasons are:
• The main incentive for this project is that it will make Borger eligible for less DEC scrutiny and regulation. (Borger is asking for a new air permit and removal from “Title V” oversight.)
• The project will enable Borger to handle a much greater amount of (fracked) gas than before. With new compressor stations and gas pipelines being denied throughout our region and nationally, more gas will be coming to Borger.
• Adding equipment to handle “Criteria Pollutants” is part of a company-wide project and is not just about Borger.
get as high as their projected 32% and 20,000+ tons/year increase.
A: Borger is asking for a permit to cause these increases when and if they choose. The permit will apply as long as Borger operates. These facts mean that the Town Board’s environmental study must be based on these facts rather than a not-enforceable suggestion that the emissions will be some unspecified amount less. In addition, with public resistance preventing additional gas pipelines and compressor plants from being built and with Borger’s recent connection to the Iroquois pipeline, it is highly likely that Borger will be handling more gas and operating more days than in the past—not less.
Q: I heard that the Town “cut a deal” with Borger that, in exchange for reducing the “criteria pollutants” the Town would give quick passage to this permit request.
A: No one on the Town Board or any of its employees could promise not to do the due diligence required by SEQR. The Members of the Town Board have a moral and legal obligation to strictly follow the SEQR process and to give a “hard look” to the parts of Borger’s project which have the potential to add to global warming and climate change.