BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Wyoming County Press Examiner
Wyoming County Planning Commission Thursday night okayed the subdivision of 20 acres of land off SR 1002 in Tunkhannock Township for a land development but tabled a land use request to put a compressor station on it.
Richard Bower, an attorney representing Williams Field Services LLC of Tulsa, Okla., said the station located on land to be purchased from the Wilcox family would be “acoustically designed to suppress noise.”
The compressor would serve a transmission line known as the Springville gathering pipeline, which reaches from above the Tennessee pipeline in Susquehanna County and stretched down to the Transco pipeline in Columbia and Luzerne counties and on to New York City.
Transco is a subsidiary of Williams.
Commission member Marta Kovacs-Ruiz asked, “What many of us want to know is how noisy will it be?”
Bob Shelstrom, an engineer from Woodbridge, Ill., said that “when completely put together, the station could consist of three boxes accoustically insulated to 50DBs or decibels.
According to county planner Paul Weilage, the original construction plan calls for three compressor units with the possibility that two could be added later.
Weilage said the latter units would not be approved unless they were also enclosed.
Commissioner Dale Brown asked if the company were following county standards or state standards regarding noise.
Williams engineer Edward Nunez from Tulsa said the company was following a Federal Energy Regulation (FER) standard, and then read from a document that said the compresssor would be operated at 55DBs.
Commision member Jon Howard said, “I’ve heard 50 DBs and 55 DBs, which is it?”
Nunez said 55 was the limit, and his company had done a number of studies about the noise level.
“Studies are great,” Howard said. “But the concern we are addressing and actually the concern of the community is the actual noise level at the property line.”
Howard, who has some familiarity with the only other compressor station in Wyoming County servicing drilling operations in the Marcellus gas- the one at Procter & Gamble, asked pointedly, “Will you do a weatherman check before you go online? It’s the measures we’re really concerned about. You can tell us one thing now, but will you monitor it?”
Shelstrom said that he had some familiarity with compressor stations in Susquehanna County where a shell of a housing is put over the compressor to make for what he called a “a doghouse unit.”
“Not with Williams,” he said. “This is really a Cadillac. If you want to do this well, then this is the way you do it.”
Bower read from a letter from the Commission’s engineer, CECO Associates, which raised 16 concerns including a detention basin, outlet piping, certain structures, and some wording issues and said he felt he could address them all.
But Weilage said he would recommend that preliminary approval not be given yet until the county’s engineer could verify the requirements had been met.
No vote was taken.
Bower then asked if the commission would consider a special meeting to address the matters at hand before Oct. 7.
Those present agreed that it could hold a special meeting at a time and location to be determined.
Weilage confirmed Tuesday that the next Planning Commission meeting would be Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center, Tunkhannock.