Health Professionals Call on FERC to Deny GTN XPress Gas Pipeline Expansion
To: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

We, the undersigned health professionals and public health advocates across the Northwest strongly oppose TC Energy’s proposed GTN Xpress project (CP22-2-000). We call on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny this proposal to expand the capacity of this existing fracked gas pipeline in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Methane gas pipelines and compressor stations are known to have adverse impacts on human health, safety, and the environment. For instance, communities that live near compressor stations are known to experience symptoms ranging from skin rashes to gastrointestinal, respiratory, neurological, and psychological. (1) We are in a climate crisis, where we are already experiencing the devastating effects of rising temperatures, the direct result of burning fossil fuels, including so-called “natural gas” i.e., methane. Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over its first 20 years  in the atmosphere. As such, methane is one of the best levers we have to reduce the rate of climate change. (2)

TC Energy proposes to increase the amount of gas in its existing pipelines by expanding compressor stations which provide the force which propels gas through pipelines. These compressor stations emit significant amounts of air pollution, both from the operation of the engine which powers the pump as well as from venting. Compressor stations and meter stations vent methane, volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. All of these air pollutants have serious health impacts, including increased risks of stroke, cancer, asthma and low birth weight and premature babies. Compressor stations also produce significant noise pollution. (3) The air and noise pollution from these compressor stations disproportionately harm the rural, low-income and minority communities that already experience significant health disparities, especially those that are living in proximity to the pipeline expansion project.

TC Energy makes a false claim that the Pacific Northwest is predicted to see an increase in demand for gas in the coming years in order to justify the expansion project. The states of Washington, Oregon, and California are taking decisive action to move off of gas to power our communities due to the abundant research that shows both the climate consequences of gas use as well as the definitive health costs. People who live near pipeline routes and compressor stations experience increased health risks,due to their exposure to pollutants linked to an increased occurrence of disease. In addition to the health consequences from the pipeline expansion project itself, gas in the GTN pipeline is extracted by fracking in Canada. Fracking degrades the environment including contamination of soil, water and air by toxic chemicals. Communities exposed to these toxins experience elevated rates of birth defects, cancer and asthma.The negative health impacts of methane gas, and its contribution to warming the climate and polluting the air are unacceptable impacts that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and low-income communities.

In addition to global, this project is also inconsistent with regional climate goals such as Washington and Oregon laws that require a reduction of carbon emissions by 95% and 80% by 2050. The recent Inflation Reduction Act incentivizes utilities to move to solar and wind energy, already less expensive than new gas power plants. Besides the electric grid, homes and businesses will be using less gas to power their buildings. In California, nearly 70 cities and counties require all-electric construction. December 6, the city of Milwaukie, Oregon, approved a resolution that could result in an all-electric construction mandate by 2024. Washington recently established new building codes that do not allow new gas connections in residential construction in addition to its ban on gas in new commercial buildings. Gas usage has already dropped in California. 

We thus urge FERC to deny the expansion of the GTN XPress Pipeline’s capacity.


  1. Brown, D. R., Lewis, C., & Weinberger, B. I. (2015). Human exposure to unconventional natural gas development: A public health demonstration of periodic high exposure to chemical mixtures in ambient air. Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering, 50(5), 460–472. ; Kampa, M., & Castanas, E. (2008). Human health effects of air pollution. Environmental pollution, 151(2), 364.

  2. Makhijani, A. (2022, December 1). Keeping the lid on at 1.5°C: Part 3. Just Solutions Collective. Retrieved December 27, 2022, from; IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. In Press.

  3. Boyle, M. D., Soneja, S., Quirós-Alcalá, L., Dalemarre, L., Sapkota, A. R., Sangaramoorthy, T., ... & Sapkota, A. (2017). A pilot study to assess residential noise exposure near natural gas compressor stations. PLoS One, 12(4), e0174310.

Sign in to Google to save your progress. Learn more
GTN XPress Gas Pipeline Expansion
First Name *
Last Name *
Health Credentials (if any):
State *
Zip Code *
I am signing on as: *
Organization Name (if any)
Phone number (optional- may be contacted for media quote)
Email Address (optional- may be contacted for media quote)
Additional comments (if any)
Clear form
Never submit passwords through Google Forms.
This form was created inside of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. Report Abuse