What is a Gas Gate Station?

A Gas Gate station, (we believe they are also known as city gate stations, metering and regulator stations, or distribution stations) takes high pressure gas from a larger pipeline, reduces the pressure and distributes gas to local homes. Now, it’s much more complex than that, but those are the basics. These stations are dangerous, they emit pollutants, they are potentially radioactive, smell really bad, and are noisy. Pipelines and regulator facilities contain PCBs. It is our understanding that the facility also does what is called a “blowdown” to release pressure within the station. Blowdowns release methane and a chemical known as mercaptan (smells like rotten egg). 

mercaptan mixtures

PCBs – Polychlorinated Biphenyls are a mix of isomers used to cool, insulate, seal valves, and stabilize heat. PCBs can damage the immune system, harm fetuses, cause liver disease, skin rashes, and cancer.

What is mercaptan? Mercaptan is a liquid odorizer put into the gas to make it smell so we know when there is a gas leak. It is also used to make pesticides. Mercaptan exposure has several side effects: at low levels it causes irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, bloody nose, shortness of breath, as well as coughing, wheezing, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, and lack of coordination; large level of exposure has caused death. Mercaptan is going to be stored at the facility. Eversource says they will keep a years supply on site. What happens if there is a leak at the facility or a spill during delivery? This location is just up hill from Elmwood elementary school and all of it’s run off will end up at the very edge of the elementary school’s playground. 

This station, along with the increased diesel powered traffic, can increase air pollution in the area having health impacts such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks because their lungs are still developing.