Noise Pollution from the Chesterfield Compressor Station

Noise pollution in one of my many pet peeves in general.  As I have both noise sensitivity and tinnitus, I really hate loud noises.  Though there are many sounds I cannot control, there are some that I can control.  Damage to hearing that is caused by the proposed Chesterfield Compressor Station is something that we as a community can prevent to keep both our hearing and our sanity intact.

The Chesterfield Compressor Station goes hand-in-hand with the Southern Reliability Link so we must stand together to fight this as well.  A compressor station is the facility that is needed to force the gas through the pipeline and it poses its own set of health and environmental concerns for the citizens of our area.

In the most basic terms a compressor station must be placed every so often so it can move the gas along the pipeline.  It uses various mechanics to create enough pressure to force the gas along the line.  This is an important health issue that is created if we allow this facility into our neighborhoods.  It is going to be VERY LOUD!!!!  (Sorry about that, folks, but I’m trying to make a point here.)

As many in our area, I live near Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst so I understand what loud noise is.  Military planes landing at the Base often go over my home.  It’s so loud that I can scream at the top of my lungs and I am drowned out by the noise.  It’s the same for the motorcyclists that drive by on summer afternoons.  But they last for no more than a few minutes and the noise levels return to normal.  However, with a compressor station running as normal the decibels will be a constant 55 which, according to a noise comparison chart from Perdue University, is the same as a conversation in a restaurant.  Well…  That’s what the gas company wants you to believe as this is the loudest allowed as stated by FERC regulations (page 10).

There is one instance where the noise will be loud enough to cause pain.  It is when the compressor station does a blowdown to release pressure, as well as methane and other chemicals.  This is when the decibels can range between 90 and 120.  Imagine something between a DC-9 aircraft (90 decibels) and a thunderclap (120 decibels) happening every so often for several minutes at a time.  Here is a YouTube video for you to get an idea of the loudness of the blowdown as well as seeing the actual decibels.  I noticed that this was recorded on a bright autumn day.  Imagine if there were low hanging clouds.  The noise would travel much further and be much louder.  There are several other YouTube videos as well that I urge you to watch.  What a shame for people already having to live with type of pollution.  We, however, still have time to prevent this from coming into our area.

Noise pollution caused by the proposed Chesterfield Compressor Station
Noise pollution caused by the Chesterfield Compressor Station would affect birds like this.
Image courtesy of john4352 at

Noise pollution also endangers local wildlife as it prevents them from communicating with others and hearing the world around them.  Mating calls would be disrupted.  The vibrations caused by the constant thrumming of the turbines would affect their ability to sense their environment.  In general, wildlife hearing is better that human hearing so what we would experience would be greatly intensified for them.

As I live with two rabbits, I understand that they speak with each other in subtle ways such as thumping a back foot as a warning.  Their ears are constantly pricked forward, listing to their environment for signs of danger.  Hearing is important for a rabbit and they often spook at loud noises that are not familiar to them.  Though I do not live near the proposed Chesterfield Compressor Station, I can see from my own rabbits how pets and wildlife will be affected.

This is one of the many reasons we need to fight both the Southern Reliability Link and the Chesterfield Compressor Station.  Over the next few weeks, I hope to bring you more information about both the Southern Reliability Link as well as the Chesterfield Compressor Station that is being proposed to run through our area.  Education is the first step to Stop the Pipeline.


Other resources:
Neighbors bemoan pipeline compressor station would force them to move
Earthworks: Oil and Gas Noise
Venting of a natural gas pipeline in Union County FL 4/22/13

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