FortisBC wants to TRIPLE the capacity of the Eagle Mountain Compressor Station

Summary:

FortisBC Energy Inc. proposes to triple the compressor capacity at the existing Eagle Mountain Compressor Station as part of a project to provide natural gas through a new high pressure gas pipeline to Squamish. The purpose is to supply an expansion of the Woodfibre Liquified Natural Gas plant In Squamish. Two 20,500 HP compressor units with accompanying piping and cooling systems and a power substation are proposed.  The expanded 24 hour operation will be more noisy for neighbourhood residents.

Concerns:

Residents within a kilometre of the site should be concerned about the noise levels that the expanded 24 hour operation will create. The existing station has 3 smaller compressors that produce noticeable but tolerable noise, although at night the drone of the compressor equipment, including fans and above ground pipes, is the predominant component of the ambient noise in the area. For some residents this is already an irritation that requires bedroom windows to be closed at night. Fortis’s modeling of the noise contribution of the additional equipment shows that this new equipment alone would produce noise levels between 30 and 40 Decibels that would be experienced by several hundred residents located within a kilometre of the station. This will contribute to the noise already generated. The change in perceived noise levels may be likened to the difference between listening to a refrigerator and a room air conditioner. For those far enough away that have not heard the compressor station, you will now be aware of it. For those closer to the compressor, noise that is largely tolerable will become intolerable. For those that enjoy Eagle Mountain Park and nearby trails, the noise will be significant and intrusive.

The Fortis proposal is presently under review by the BC government’s Environmental Assessment Office under the BC Environmental Assessment Act. The compressor station expansion is a small part of the overall pipeline proposal, but the Eagle Mountain Compressor Station component is most significant for Westwood Plateau residents. The deadline for submissions regarding the project is March 27th. While the momentum behind the project is substantial and approval is likely, it should be possible to require Fortis to take sufficient noise abatement measures at the compressor station to minimize the impact on the neighbouring community.

  • Area Residents should insist that the analysis consider the compressor station as a whole – both existing and new components – as the proposed modifications are substantial. Existing noise from the operation is not an insignificant contribution to the ambient noise, especially at night when it is the predominant contributor to the averaged ambient noise.
  • Residents should insist that more effective noise reduction steps be required at the Compressor Station to ensure that at minimum, the cumulative noise due to the station operation at the most affected dwellings at night is not significantly increased from present levels.
  • Residents should insist that the Coquitlam noise bylaws be respected. Coquitlam’s noise bylaw NO. 1233, 1982 with amendments (1) 2603, 1993; (2) 3999, 2008; (3) 4149, 2010; (4) 4479, 2014 should be satisfied. (“No person shall make or cause, or permit to be made or caused, any noise in or on a public or private place which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort, or convenience of any person or persons in the neighbourhood or vicinity.”)
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