Thursday, September 28, 2000

Neighbors dread power station plan

Expansion may add to noise

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        CRESTVIEW HILLS — A proposed addition to a power station in neighboring Erlanger has residents here complaining about the possibility of increased noise.

        Cinergy Corp. plans to install two turbine engines at its Erlanger Gas Plant on Kenton Lands Road near Riggs Road and Interstate 275. The project costs $40-50 million and is to be completed by June.

        “It will produce energy, therefore it will increase noise levels,” said Crestview Hills resident J. Zang, who lives on Vernon Drive. “I'm concerned about the pollution. Many of us have invested our lives here.”

        The gas plant compresses natural gas for use by residential, commercial and industrial customers. Cinergy spokesman Dave Woodburn said Wednesday the new engines are powered by natural gas and would allow the plant to produce electricity.

        The gas plant is near the Baptist Village assisted living complex and the pro posed site of the new Kenton County Public Library branch in Erlanger.

        About 150 homes in Crestview Hills are also within a half-mile of the plant. Crestview Hills Mayor Paul Meier said Cinergy should consider a site with fewer homes surrounding it.

        “It should be located in a larger industrial zone,” Mr. Meier said. “These plants will generate additional noise. In the evening, it's estimated it will be louder than what's caused by I-275.”

        Mr. Woodburn said the Erlanger site was the only one considered because it fit two criteria: the area was already zoned for Cinergy's intended use, and existing pipelines are already in place.

        “Anyplace else was too cost-prohibitive, and we'd have to go through zoning (processes),” Mr. Woodburn said.

        He said the existing noise level in the Crestview Hills neighborhood near the plant has been measured about 65 decibels, which is slightly louder than normal human conversation.

        If no insulation is added, noise levels could rise to around 80 decibels, the sound of heavy vehicle traffic or a train. But Mr. Wood burn said insulation and baffling would be added.

        “The objective is to get to a zero noise increase to residents,” Mr. Woodburn said.

        Erlanger officials were attending a Kentucky League of Cities conference Wednesday in Louisville and were unavailable for comment.

        Mr. Meier said Erlanger officials told him that city supports the project as long as it doesn't create additional noise.

        Which is no comfort to Mr. Zang. “I don't think it should be in our bedroom windows.”


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