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Commission hears about pipeline compressor
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The Liberty County Commission learned last week what a new, large building on EB Cooper Highway is.
The structure had been puzzling area residents for some time now so Liberty County commissioners asked Trae Miller, from Southern Natural Gas, to attend last week’s mid-month commission meeting to answer questions about the compressor station that they say was built without their knowledge.
“We really didn’t know about it,” said Bob Sprinkel, assistant county administrator. “Like an electric company, they’re regulated by the federal government. They didn’t have to ask.”
Compressor stations maintain pressure on pipelines to keep the gas moving.
Addressing safety issues that surround natural gas sites, Miller told the commissioners the station has one employee on-site at all times and is equipped with a high-tech monitoring system.
“It’s designed to shut itself down if necessary,” Miller said of the potential for fires at the station.
Miller also addressed area residents’ concerns about unpleasant smells from the station.
“Natural gas is odorless. It’s odorized in another process, but the gas at the station is odorless,” Miller said.
Miller also extended an invitation to commissioners to visit the facility.
“It’s our county and we want to know,” Sprinkel said.
According to Michael Prestage, operations manager with Southern Natural Gas, the station will open in the fall.
“The project for the compressor station began construction in February of this year and it is supposed to be completed and operational Nov. 1,” he said.
In other business, Bill Vickery, project manager with Pope Construction, gave commissioners an update on the construction of the county’s new justice center.
“The project is coming along extremely well. Based on our master schedule, we’re a few weeks ahead,” said Vickery, who added that currently they are in the fireproofing stage of construction.
Vickery estimated the total construction time will be about two years. Commission broke ground for the project in February.
“The county and city seem to be working well together,” Vickery said.
Signifying their support of the project, Vickery asked the commissioners if they would all sign their names in paint on the last piece of steel set in the building.
“We’re within 60 days of that point.” Vickery said.
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