Good ‘buzz’-ness

Luminant responded to noise concerns of Sandow 5 neighbors

What’s the latest buzz on noise concerns at Luminant’s Sandow 5 power generating unit southeast of Rockdale?

The latest buzz is that there isn’t one.

After three years of trying, substantial work by a Luminant contractor has all but eliminated the noise from the 581-megawatt power generating unit, addressing concerns made by neighbors of the unit virtually from the first day it went on-line back in August, 2009.

Luminant had promised to do just that and, indeed, the most recent major work on the unit has produced a substantial, and most welcome, reduction in noise and vibrations emanating from Sandow 5.

This spring, Sandow 5 was taken off line for maintenance. While the massive power plant was down, a contractor removed existing duct work and incorporated sound-reducing baffles.

According to neighbors in the area, the latest project is the winner they’ve been waiting for.

Both Luminant, and The Reporter, began hearing about noise and vibration concerns in late summer 2009. One resident of a county road on the east side of US 77, several miles away from Unit 5, told The Reporter that vibrations were so bad that walls shook and water “jiggled in a glass.”

An initial project in fall, 2009, lowered the noise/vibration problem for the area but did not eliminate it.

By the next year residents of Champions Drive in Country Club Estates, the nearest full-fledged subdivision to Sandow 5, were considering petitioning the company with their concerns.

But the petition was dropped after a meeting with Luminant. A spokesperson for the residents said they believed the company was sincere when it promised to fix the problem.

It was. Thanks, Luminant for being a good industrial neighbor.—M.B.

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