FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Two Fort Worth neighborhoods are battling a plan by Chesapeake Energy to build what could be the largest gas compressor station in the city.
More than 100 residents from River Trails and Mallard Cove neighborhoods packed an elementary school Tuesday night in a meeting with Chesapeake representatives.
Many of them just wanted to tell the company they don’t believe the industry statements that a station that size will be safe, and quiet.
“I don’t buy it,” said Travis Nash, who lives two-thirds of a mile from the proposed site. “You can skew information however you want to. You can have a test done; who’s paying for that test?”
There are 22 gas compressor stations in the region, with 100 engines operated by Texas Midstream Gas Services, a Chesapeake company.
The generators in a standard five-unit gas compressor station with diesel engines emit a dull rumble that can be clearly heard from a distance. When a door opens in the facility, noise pours out.
A typical station resembles a large, fabricated steel building that got lost on its way to a part of the city zoned for industrial use.
Exhaust pipes jut out from most stations. The buildings caged inside the chain-link fence that runs the length of the property would be painted an earthy tone.
Chesapeake says compressors at the Randol Mill site though would run on natural gas and electric.
Representatives said the noise would be similar to a conversation between two people, and the company says it’s sensitive to concerns about safety and sound.
“Not only do you have requirements by the state, but you have sound requirements that are given by the city,” said Justin Bond, Chesapeake spokesman.
Nash said he has a young family, and he’s concerned about the station’s emissions.
Several other residents echoed that concern. “What can you do to assure us mistakes aren’t going to happen?” asked one woman.
A study released this summer by Fort Worth showed no emissions that caused any imminent danger to health in the area.
It did, however, highlight compressor stations as one source of higher than desirable emissions.
Chesapeake said modeling showed benzene emissions at the Randol Mill site would be well below unhealthful levels.
Chesapeake says it needs the station to force gas through area pipelines. The large, centralized location could accept gas from all the stations in the region.
The River Trails subdivision borders the site and has 1,600 homes. Another neighborhood, Mallard Cove, sits just 1,100 feet away. Signs bemoaning the station sit in front of the entrances to each of those neighborhoods.
The city has already delayed a decision one time on allowing the facility.
Since then, however, the Fort Worth City Council has voted down an effort to tighten gas drilling rules for the energy industry.
“I don’t get anything from this,” Nash said. “Just more noise, devaluation of my home and property value.”
The area has been home to a city landfill that’s now closed.
A vehicle storage yard sits west of the neighborhoods and a cement plant.