Encana/Ovintiv’s noisy invasive polluting compressors (13 around Rosebud) have violated my legal right to quiet enjoyment of my home and land going on 18 years now. Because the company doesn’t give a shit about its neighbours or the health harms and legal rights violations it causes, Encana/Ovintiv installed two of its closest compressors without the required impact assessment in a location with the noise amplifying off the coulee walls directly into my home. Alberta’s regulator, the AER, doesn’t give a shit about industry’s noise harms either, except to help companies get away with violating our legal right to quiet enjoyment of our properties.
A five minute assessment would have led Encana engineers that gave a damn to move the compressor location to another where the noise would not be amplified into people’s homes.
Living frac’d with water too dangerous to even use to flush toilets is horrific; living with Encana’s noise is much worse.
In response to many noise complaints by impacted residents in my community:
- Encana conducted fraudulent noise studies (during the first one, they shut their noisiest compressor off) and blamed nature and the community for the company’s noise, with AER enabling the fraud;
- When I documented Encana’s many Noise Directive violations for the “regulator,” AER worked to deregulate to make the violations legal, and violated my Charter rights, judged me a criminal without any evidence and no hearing or trial – in writing and copied our police and Attorney General. Encana and its noise consultants were secretly instructed by AER to conduct another study and not get caught this time f*cking it up. Encana then intentionally violated my privacy rights by handing out a map of the company’s second noise study microphone locations at a large community meeting, printing my full name at the location of my home on the map but no other impacted residents’ names. This led to con gov’t/big oil/Encana-loving men invading my property, threatening me to “shut up” or else, enraging and stressing my dogs and terrifying me (I endure life with PTSD caused by numerous rapes as a child). The second study by Encana was also fraudulent (too many violations to list here, one dirty trick was that the noise consultants moved the microphone on my property to a non-compliant location where my quonset blocked a lot of the compressor noise). The study still resulted in noise levels recorded that were non-compliant. The poor corrupt babies at the AER had to alter Encana’s data to make it compliant so as to allow the harmful noise to continue, 24/7.
- Community noise complaints against Encana continued; in response Encana and AER lied, a lot. AER nastily yelled at me for daring to call in a complaint in the middle of the night. AER promised that the regulator would conduct a third study, a “blind” one meaning Encana would not be informed of the study to prevent dirty tricks. I caught AER notifying Encana three times about the “blind” study, including in writing to a VP.
To con the public and impacted community into thinking Encana cares, the company installed a flammable straw bale wall partially around the two compressors closest to Rosebud and my home. Encana’s consultant warned me that the noise would just roll over the wall, and continue to bounce off the coulee and into my home, which it did. After European film makers ridiculed Encana’s risky big ego stupidity, the wall came down.
Pre-frac’ing, I shared my property with 50-60 mating pairs of gold finches every spring and summer, and many other song birds. The birds’ song and antics filled my heart with joy and made living with PTSD bearable. Visitors were always amazed.
Part of my kitchen window view, before frac harms by Encana/Ovintiv ramped up. There were many more gold finches not captured by the photo.
Post-frac’ing, I observe fewer song birds every year, rarely see finches on my property anymore, and hear dramatically reduced bird song – some spring mornings there is no bird song, which fills me with dread.
Frac noise is a cruel invasion of home, well-being and health.
Experimental playback of natural gas compressor noise reduces incubation time and hatching success in two secondary cavity-nesting bird species by Danielle P Williams, Julian D Avery, Thomas B Gabrielson, Margaret C Brittingham, Jan 19, 2021, Ornithological Applications, duaa066, https://doi.org/10.1093/ornithapp/duaa066
Natural gas compressor stations emit loud, low-frequency noise that travels hundreds of meters into undisturbed habitat. We used experimental playback of natural gas compressor noise to determine whether and how noise influenced settlement decisions and reproductive output as well as when in the nesting cycle birds were most affected by compressor noise. We established 80 nest boxes to attract Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) and Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) to locations where they had not previously nested and experimentally introduced shale gas compressor noise to half the boxes while the other 40 boxes served as controls. Our experimental design allowed us to control for the confounding effects of both physical changes to the environment associated with compressor stations as well as site tenacity or the tendency for birds to return to the specific locations where they had previously bred. We incorporated behavioral observations with video cameras placed within boxes to determine how changes in behavior might lead to any noted changes in fitness. Neither species demonstrated a preference for box type (quiet or noisy), and there was no difference in clutch size between box types. In both species, we observed a reduction in incubation time, hatching success, and fledging success (proportion of all eggs that fledged) between quiet and noisy boxes but no difference in provisioning rates. Nest success (probability of fledging at least one young; calculated from all nests that were initiated) was not affected by noise in either species suggesting that noise did not increase rates of either depredation or abandonment but instead negatively impacted fitness through reduced hatching and fledging success. Compressor noise caused behavioral changes that led to reduced reproductive success; for Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows, gas infrastructure can create an equal-preference ecological trap where birds do not distinguish between lower and higher quality territories even when they incur fitness costs.
• Natural gas is one of the most rapidly growing global energy sources with shale gas resources in particular expected to experience continued expansion.
• We used experimental playback of natural gas compressor noise to expose nesting Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows to compressor noise.
• Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows nesting in noisy nest boxes spent less time incubating their eggs, had fewer eggs hatch, and produced fewer young than their neighbors nesting in quiet boxes.
• Although there was a direct fitness cost, birds did not preferentially select quiet boxes over noisy boxes, suggesting they do not recognize the reduction in habitat quality resulting from the noise.
• Because shale gas development often occurs in relatively undisturbed natural areas that provide important habitat for breeding birds, it is imperative that we develop plans to manage and mitigate noise. These practices will also benefit other wildlife and people.
Songbirds’ Reproductive Success Reduced By Natural Gas Pipeline Compressor Noise by Jeff Mulhollem, Feb 19, 2021, Penn State News, PA Environmental Digest
Some songbirds are not dissuaded by constant, loud noise emitted by natural gas pipeline compressors and will establish nests nearby. The number of eggs they lay is unaffected by the din, but their reproductive success ultimately is diminished.
That’s the conclusion of a team of Penn State researchers who conducted an innovative, elaborate study that included unceasing playback of recorded compressor noise, 80 new, never-before-used nest boxes occupied by Eastern bluebirds and tree swallows, and behavioral observations with video cameras placed within boxes.
“Importantly, the birds did not preferentially select quiet boxes over noisy boxes, suggesting they do not recognize the reduction in habitat quality resulting from the noise,” said study co-author Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources, College of Agricultural Sciences.
“But both bluebirds and tree swallows nesting in noisy boxes spent less time incubating their eggs, had fewer eggs hatch and produced fewer young than their neighbors nesting in quiet boxes.”
Natural gas is one of the most rapidly growing global energy sources, with continued expansion expected in shale gas development in particular. Compressor stations needed to pressurize gas and push it through pipelines to consumers– often located in interior forests used by breeding birds– may be depressing birds’ reproduction in isolated forested areas.
[There were about 555 natural gas pipeline compressor stations in Pennsylvania as of December 2019, according to DEP.]
“The loud, low-frequency noise emitted by natural gas compressor stations travels hundreds of yards into undisturbed areas,” said co-author Julian Avery, associate research professor of wildlife ecology and conservation. “Because shale gas development often occurs in relatively undisturbed natural areas that provide important habitat for breeding birds, it is imperative that we develop plans to manage and mitigate noise.”
The experiment, believed to be the first of its kind, was conducted at Penn State’s Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, in central Pennsylvania.
The study was unique because the researchers took extensive precautions to be sure they were assessing only the birds’ reaction to the compressor noise and not other factors.
The design of the experiment allowed researchers to control for the confounding effects of both physical changes to the environment associated with compressor stations as well as the strong tendency for birds to return to the specific locations where they previously had bred.
Researchers established the 40 pairs of nest boxes to attract bluebirds and tree swallows to a site with no previous breeding population and immediately introduced shale gas compressor noise to half the boxes before birds returned to the region, while the other 40 boxes served as controls.
“We took a risk initiating the study– we weren’t sure these birds would find and occupy our boxes,” Avery said. “We hoped that, ‘if we build it, they will come.’ Bluebirds likely had other nearby spots to nest, and the tree swallows were just returning from Central America. There was no guarantee they’d encounter our boxes.”
The research was led by Danielle Williams, a master’s degree student in wildlife and fisheries science, who currently is field coordinator for Purdue University’s Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment.
Williams monitored video feeds from cameras placed within boxes to document changes in breeding behavior. She noted that there was no difference in clutch size– eggs laid– between noisy boxes and quiet boxes.
Feeding behavior by the adults, known as provisioning, also was the same in both.
However, in both species, she observed a reduction in incubation time, hatching success and fledging success– the proportion of all eggs that fledged– in noisy boxes compared to quiet boxes.
The findings, recently published in Ornithological Applications, demonstrate that compressor noise caused behavioral changes that led to reduced reproductive success for eastern bluebirds and tree swallows.
The results indicate, the researchers said, that natural gas infrastructure can create an “equal-preference ecological trap,” where birds do not distinguish between lower and higher quality territories, even when they incur reproductive costs.
Nest success– the probability of fledging at least one young– calculated from all nests that were initiated, was not affected by noise in either species studied, Brittingham pointed out.
“That suggests that noise did not increase rates of either depredation or abandonment but instead negatively impacted fitness through reduced hatching and fledging success,” she said. “We never would have known that if we had not done this research.”
Also involved in the research was acoustics expert Thomas Gabrielson, senior scientist, Penn State Applied Research Laboratory.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Penn State’s Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, the Association of Field Ornithologists and the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium funded this research.
Refer also to:
2020: AER enables Vesta’s rape of Red Deer River for frac’ing, allows withdrawal of “half a cubic metre of water per second” assaulting residents with 80 decibels “deafening noise” day & night, diesel & light pollution, forcing pilot to sleep in hotel instead of his own home. Appears Vesta is boiling the river for access; thanks to AER, when you catch fish in Alberta now, it’s pre-cooked.
2018: Synergizing Canadian Courts Enabling Polluters: BC Judge gives Painted Pony Energy PR gift (makes the company look good by “giving” to NGOs) instead of ordering real punishment for killing migratory birds in frac fluid tank
2014: Quebec’s Premier Declares Province-wide Shale Gas Ban after Environmental Review Board (BAPE) says Fracking Not Worth The Risk, “Too many negative consequences to the environment and society…risks to air and water quality…noise and light pollution”
2014: UK Public Health Report Admits Harm for Residents Living Near Fracing: “lack of public trust and confidence, stress and anxiety from the uncertainty which could lead to poor mental wellbeing, noise related health effects, issues related to capacity for flowback waste water treatment and disposal”
2014: With law violations, hazards, waste dumping, air noise land water pollution, permanent water loss, community division, adverse health impacts, lies, fatalities, enabling regulators politicians courts, massive subsidies, PR Panel urges industry to change frac ‘conversation’
2013: More than 50 Woodland families with toxic water after nearby frac’ing, Headleys, McIntyres and other families file nuisance lawsuits after suffering health harm, toxic fumes, visual, noise and other impacts from drilling, frac’ing and facilities