The real story of compressor stations

Published 10:17 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

Buckingham County has been swarmed by outside groups sharing misleading facts about the proposed compressor station.

As a boilermaker, I have spent years in the field working on projects that require identical skills needed to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. First and foremost, building projects safely is our number one objective. I can attest to the high-quality training and standards workers on this project must meet, as my occupation requires the completion of several thousand hours of field work through an apprenticeship, ensuring each new generation of workers meets the high safety and quality standards of the previous one. The people hired to construct the pipeline and compressor station will be the best-trained workers in the field simply because our occupation requires it.

Compressor stations are the working piece of any compressed natural gas pipeline. Pressure provides the energy to move the gas through the pipeline from the starting point to the end user. Building a compressor station is much like building other commercial sites. Most compressor stations have regulators, generators, gas coolers and heaters, metering equipment, fans and those types of state-of-the-art technology to make the compression work. These advanced technologies are typically housed in other constructed buildings with industry-guided standards. Modern standards and regulations will keep this compressor station at or below 55 decibels, a sound quieter than a home HVAC system. Noise from the site will not impact the daily lives of anyone who lives nearby.

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To the concerned landowners impacted by this project, I understand your fears, but please know workers on this project take your safety, your way of life and your cherished community very seriously. Some of them will come from Buckingham County itself, while many others come from similar rural communities and understand the value of quiet, rural communities. Projects like this have been built all over the country to very little fanfare and will continue to be built and operated safely.

This compressor station will be no different.

This project will have an enormous impact on thousands of workers. Trade workers who live and work in Virginia stand to gain work and wages.

We train for many years to develop the skills necessary to build massive projects such as the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but seldom do we get the chance to be directly involved on a large project that will directly benefit the community around us. 

On behalf of the many likely workers of this project and the many job seekers in Virginia, please support this project.

DANNY WATSON is the business manager for International Brother of Boilermakers Local 45, representing members throughout the state, including Buckingham County and surrounding counties. He resides in Amelia. His email address is