Northern Natural Gas is planning a pipeline that would help supply a billion dollar ammonia facility in Woodbury County. But some folks near the line say they don't like the sound of it.
For fifty years, Lowell Beermann's property, north of Homer, Neb., has been his sanctuary.
"This is where we hunt our animals, and trap. Enjoy the nature. This is our little Garden of Eden. This is where out family gets some peace of mind," said Beermann.
But, a couple of days ago he got a letter from Northern Natural Gas, telling him in 2014 the company plans to build a six turbine, 9,500 horsepower compressor station. It's location, right in front of Beermann's house.
"It's approximately 100 yards, 300 feet, from my doorstep," said Beermann.
Beermann says it'll obstruct his view, and says his online research shows it could create enough noise to destroy his "Shangri-La."
"It'd be horrendous. I know when those turbines get in conjunction, and they start pounding together, it'll actually shake the ground," said Beermann.
The compressor is part of Northern's West Leg 2014 expansion. It would pump natural gas across a new six mile line, about a mile and a half north of Homer, to Woodbury County. The company says it'll service fertilizer maker, CF Industries, at their proposed $1.7 billion expansion near the Port Neal Interchange.
"As you know, the $1.7 billion expansion is a second ammonia production plant, and we've been told by CF Industries this project will create 100 direct jobs in the area," said company spokesperson, Mike Loeffler.
Loeffler says the project will be environmentally safe, and says Northern will take measures to muffle equipment noise from compressors. He says federal guidelines forbid stations from being louder than 55 decibels in noise sensitive areas.
"Fifty-five decibels is about the same as the noise produced indoors by a quiet office. The level is rated as moderately quiet, according to regulating guidelines," said Loeffler.
Still, Beermann has his concerns, and he'll pursue them as the project develops.
"We get a little peace and serenity here. I don't know where that's going to go," said Beermann.
Northern says the West Leg project is in a public input period. If you want more information, click here.
Northern is planning two open house events for Siouxlanders with questions:
Tuesday, February 5th: American Legion Hall 109 E. 19th Street South Sioux City, NE 6-8:30 PM
Wednesday, February 6th: American Legion Hall 901 Topaz Drive Sergeant Bluff, IA 6-8:30 PM
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