Noise making Waynesburg miserable

February 26, 2013

There is a lot of valid concern about Marcellus Shale fracking in Greene County and Western Pennsylvania and the possible environmental hazards this may cause.

But a serious and growing environmental problem exists in Waynesburg of a different nature, but it is as much a hazard to our health as drilling for natural gas and the pollution this may cause. The problem here is the unbelievable noise level produced by the Emerald Coal prep plant conveyor belt towers and the powerful new train engines which carry the coal to and from the prep plant through Waynesburg several times a day.

When I moved here in 2004, the noise level of the trains and the conveyor belt towers was annoying but bearable. Today, in 2013, the level of noise is making life hell for people who live within a mile of the plant. We have to endure the never-ending humming, grinding, and noise from the train engines, which, until a few years ago, sounded off in the distance. Trying to sleep at night when the noise is at full blast is almost impossible.

Today, with the apparent expansion of the tracks and the plant itself, the high level of noise is making life in Waynesburg miserable and the thought of this being a peaceful, bucolic, attractive college town is now past. The noise level six days a week is so bad that the thought of using my front porch, which we used to enjoy on a summer evening, is now impossible. When you simply step out the front door, you are greeted by the noise from the prep plant humming or the trains roaring through. The worst possible combination is when the noise from the prep plant and the powerful new train engines are combined, which is so loud you need to shout if you are outside.

The plant sits right next to Waynesburg Borough, literally within a few hundred feet, in Franklin Township, so any noise ordinances which Waynesburg may have on the books can’t be used to penalize the Emerald Prep Plant.

In the countryside, air vents make the lives of people who live near them not what they had hoped to have when they moved to the country or if they had owned the property before these shafts were created. The Emerald Coal prep plant is abusing our atmosphere and ruining the quality of life in Waynesburg with the noise it creates and because of it’s expansion, which no one in the community was aware of. The noise is getting worse and will make the value of our homes go down the tubes. Something must be done to make this company accountable to the people in Waynesburg and Greene County. Where are all the environmentalists when it comes to noise pollution? Noise pollution is as much a health hazard as breathing polluted air or water. Industrial noise causes blood pressure to rise and the tension from hoping it will end can’t be healthful either.

John Magee


Noise making Waynesburg miserable


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