The Woodward News

Local News

February 3, 2013

DOE discusses Clean Line impact


Woodward, Okla. — A NEW CONCERN

There was one question asked Thursday that Summerson said wasn't included on the DOE's list of potential impacts; it had to do with noise.  While DOE included construction noise as part of its concerns, she said the noise of the transmission line itself was something that her office hadn't considered before.

"We got to looking and realized we don't have noise on our list of environmental topics," she said.  "That's why we ask for and appreciate people's comments.  That's why this (scoping) process is so important, so we don't miss anything."

As for how noisy the line is, Hurtado said he has been told that the direct current lines don't make as much of an electric humming sound like traditional alternating current lines do.  Instead, he said the lines can make "some crackling sounds" as air particles in the corona around the lines ionize and "pop."

Even with this crackling, Hurtado said "the noise level is not considered high."  However, he didn't have a specific decibel measurement, but said that it had been "characterized to me as being similar to the level of a conversation between 2 people."

Summerson encouraged the audience member to make a written comment about her concern over noise level so that the DOE would be sure to research the issue further and determine the potential decibel output of the transmission line.

She assured the audience that all public comments concerning the environmental impact of the Plains & Eastern project that are received during the public comment period will be read and addressed in the EIS document.

The public comment period continues through March 21, with comments being accepted through an online comment form available at the project website,  Comments may also be made by e-mail to or sent by postal mail to Plains & Eastern Clean Line EIS, 1099 18th St., Suite 580, Denver, CO 80202.

Summerson said a 90-day comment period was established because "to do a good job and give everybody a chance to be heard takes time."

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