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Bruce Pantzke, Fort Ransom, N.D., Published May 30 2013

Letter: Pipeline noise destroys serenity and property values in our valley

I am writing to make you aware of an ongoing issue with noise control at the Keystone Pipeline pump station north of Fort Ransom, N.D. It is located less than 1.5 miles from the north border of Fort Ransom State Park and in the heart of the pristine Sheyenne River Valley.

I own land adjacent to this pump station. There are significant variances in the noise decibels that are emitted from this pump station based on a variety of variables, which are clearly outside the parameters allowed by the North Dakota Public Service Commission. At times, the high pitch and/or frequency related to this noise are extraordinarily annoying and can be compared to someone scratching their fingernails down a chalkboard. Our state PSC says that 55 decibels is acceptable and we all should just learn to live with it. Now imagine having to listen to that noise/whine in the peaceful valley and trying to sleep with it. This noise issue has most definitely reduced quality of life, the serenity and peace of the valley as well as the value of properties in the surrounding area.

I began correspondence with representatives of Keystone in 2010 after acknowledging they have a noise problem; there has been no successful satisfactory resolution. An attempt was made to quiet the pump station by putting insulation in the outlet control valve; however, this solution did nothing to resolve the noise issue and appears to have made it worse.

I do not feel Keystone officials fully understand or respect the scope of our complaint, but they most clearly have been very poor neighbors as they assured us all at initial township meetings that there would be no environmental impact of any sort to the area. All attempts to resolve this issue have been unsuccessful with the PSC and with numerous calls and visits with Keystone.

My neighbors and I have filed a complaint with the PSC and are working with a community group for additional support and guidance. This issue has been ongoing for over 2.5 years and it would be wonderful to implement a solution that is satisfactory to all parties.

It is time that Keystone and their parent company TransCanada do what is right and fix the noise problem with pump station in Fort Ransom for the good of all who enjoy the area.