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Murrysville council delays action on natural-gas compressor station expansion

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, 10:54 p.m.
Above, a concept drawing of an expansion at the J.B. Tonkin Compressor Station at 5423 Mamont Road.
Submitted photo
Above, a concept drawing of an expansion at the J.B. Tonkin Compressor Station at 5423 Mamont Road.

Murrysville council members want to hear from their noise consultant before they make any decisions about expanding a natural-gas compressor station on Mamont Road.

Council will resume its public hearing in two weeks on additions to Dominion Transmission's J.B. Tonkin Compressor Station on the 5000 block of Mamont Road, after hearing concerns about noise from residents and as its members wait on a report from a hired noise consultant.

The expansion is part of a larger, $460 million project by Dominion, according to engineer Paul Wilmoth.

“It's called the ‘Supply Header' project, and it involves compressor stations here and in Greene County,” Wilmoth said. “We'll be adding a new compressor unit with its own compressor building, as well as a motor control building, with power coming into the station and being distributed to different motors.”

The motor-control building will include a few offices, Wilmoth said. An auxiliary building with a backup generator, an air system and a hot-water boiler is also being proposed along with a building that would house valves and other equipment.

Project consultant Joe Fello said the expansion — a concept drawing of which featured tan-colored, agricultural-style buildings with dark green roofing — was designed to match “the rural aesthetic” of the area.

Several parts of the expansion include an effort to reduce noise levels for most nearby residents, according to Bill Biker, principal engineer with Massachusetts-based Environmental Noise Control. He added, however, that the additional equipment would mean noise levels rising slightly in some areas adjacent to the property.

Project officials were requesting a noise waiver as part of their conditional-use application. But according to Dominion's attorney Shawn Gallagher, it is more of a formality as Dominion is a federally-regulated company.

“We do believe we comply with the dictates of your (noise) ordinance,” he said. “There is a select provision that says any noise regulated by federal laws is exempt from compliance with your ordinance.”

Resident Larry Quinten, who lives adjacent to the compressor-station property, said he hoped Dominion officials would be able to mitigate some of the noise.

“I'm just saying, on about a half-billion-dollar project, I imagine you guys can swing a few bucks for some mufflers,” he said.

Council opted to continue the public hearing at its Nov. 15 meeting, when members will have in hand a report and comments from their hired noise consultant.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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