Sullivan County could have input with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a 22,400-horsepower compressor station proposed for the Town of Highland.

The Sullivan County Legislature unanimously approved a motion asking FERC for intervenor status in Millennium Pipeline Company's Eastern System Upgrade Project. If FERC approves Sullivan County's intervenor status, the county would have the right to take part in hearings related to the project.

The Eastern System Upgrade Project proposal would add 7.8 miles of looped natural gas transmission pipeline parallel to existing pipeline in Orange County and a compressor station off Route 55 north of Eldred by September 2018, according to the County of Sullivan Office of the County Legislature and the Millennium Pipeline Company.

Millennium Pipeline Company maintains the project is necessary to meet growing energy demands in the area.

"After evaluating the increasing energy demands for natural gas in our region and finding a need for additional capacity, we are proposing a project that will successfully meet that need while bolstering the region’s economy," Millennium President Joseph Shields said in a February 2016 press release.

However, Sullivan County legislators expressed concern about the environmental impact and effect on quality of life. The county sought proposals in June for a water, air and noise quality study of the area surrounding the compressor.

"This project remains of concern and controversy, and we will continue to monitor it closely," District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz said in the press release.

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