Wells trustees hear drilling noise complaints
BRILLIANT – Complaints about noise concerning water pumps related to gas well fracking and about coal operations in another area were voiced during a recent meeting of the Wells Township trustees.
A resident asked trustees for any available remedy to improve the noise situation at a company across the street from his home. He explained water pumps have been installed at the sand pit in that area to load trucks with water used in fracking. Noting the pumps are very loud and operate around the clock, he said they are keeping his young son up at night, and his primary concern is his son’s health.
The resident went on to say that he appreciated the help already been given by the company, adding it has repointed the lights away from homes and has reduced the noise somewhat.
Trustee Larry Owens said he contacted Chesapeake, which is the recipient of the water. He was told Chesapeake expected the current fracking job to last another few weeks, but more could be scheduled in the future. Chesapeake needs 150-225 loads of water a day.
The township, according to Solicitor Michelle Miller, has no authority to pass ordinances that could help the situation, but the matter does come under state codes. It was noted the business operations do not constitute a nuisance under state law.
Trustee John Cook said he spoke with company representatives and will do so again to see if any help can be obtained.
Looking into some type of sound barrier was proposed by Trustee Joe Ellis.
A resident commented that perhaps the Occupational Safety and Health Administration could be contacted to measure the noise level to see if it complies with state codes.
Another resident reported coal operations surrounding his home in the Wells Township 156 area are under way 24 hours a day with equipment noise ongoing all the time. It also was noted wells in that area are running dry.
The inspectors told the resident it was due to drought, but the resident said the wells were fine before coal mining began.
A resident said heavy equipment is being moved in and out of job sites at night. Also, that individual reported anyone getting a pre-blast survey notice should have it done or they cannot claim any damage.
At the request of Charles Nest, pool manager, trustees approved swimming pool rates with the cost for a child age 5 and under being $1; 6-12, $2; 13-17, $2.25; adults 18 and over, $3; and 60 and over, free. Pool passes will be offered at the same prices as last year. Rental and pass rates are available at the township office.
The possibility of a store being located in Brilliant was discussed at the last meeting. Cook reported he had visited the store’s main office, and store officials plan to look into the feasibility of placing a store in the area with no promises being made.
Police Chief John Ingram reported 3,153 calls in 2012 and 58,415 miles put on the cruisers.
A motion was approved to pay bills totaling $33,366.36.