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Greene County family's lawsuit aims to quiet energy company

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Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011

A Greene County couple and their daughter claim in a lawsuit moved to federal court on Friday that Energy Corp. of America has ignored the terms of a contract allowing the company to build a compressor station on their Greene Township property.

Louis and Bessie Vecchio of Dunkard Township and Lisa Vecchio of Greene Township say the 2009 contract allows the Denver-based company to install only one compressor inside a soundproof building, but the company has installed five compressors, and only two of them are inside the structure.

The company also used more land than agreed to in the contract, under which it leases the property for $4,500 per year for 50 years, the lawsuit states.

"The installation and continuous operation of the four additional compressors on the Vecchio Tract has created constant extremely loud noise, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," according to the lawsuit.

David McGowan, one of the Vecchios' attorneys, said the company has a pending application with the Environmental Protection Agency to put up to eight compressors at the site.

The contract with the Vecchios states that the company "shall" enclose the compressor station inside a building with soundproofing, so that's not an optional requirement, McGowan said.

" 'Shall' is a mandatory word," he said.

The Vecchios' lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the company to remove all but one of the compressors and to maintain it in a soundproof structure, he said.

Nicolle Bagnell, one of the lawyers representing the company, referred all questions to a company representative, who could not be reached for comment. The company asked the federal court to take the case because the defendant and plaintiffs live in different states.

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