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Archive for Tuesday, June 15, 1999

KPL NOISE BRINGS SUIT THREAT

June 15, 1999

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A resident who lives near the KPL Lawrence Energy Center power plant said he is contemplating going to court about continued noise at the plant.

A residential neighbor of KPL's Lawrence Energy Center is threatening to sue the company because its plant is too noisy.

"The power plant is continuing to make horrible noise, especially in the middle of the night, and it's just getting out of control," Shlomo Ginsburg, who lives nearby at 3116 Ranger Dr., said Monday. "I've reached the state where I'm ready to take it to court. I've had it. This cannot be tolerated. This is getting our quality of living to where it's unacceptable."

Ginsburg said he plans to start talking with other neighbors to see if they are willing to join him in possible legal action against KPL.

It wasn't clear Monday how many of Ginsburg's neighbors have been equally bothered by the plant since KPL made noise-abating changes.

John Pendry, who a few months ago also complained about noise from the plant's fans, said the fans haven't been as loud since KPL installed new equipment last month.

"It is not distracting us," Pendry said. "We've heard a very subdued tone (compared to) what was there. I have heard it, but not enough to disrupt normal peace and quiet. I don't have a problem with it at the moment."

Mark Schreiber, a KPL spokesman, said audio technicians in the near future would be testing the noise levels at the plant, which is northwest of Lawrence.

KPL last month installed a $100,000 "silencer" to reduce the noise, he said.

A low, rumbling hum became noticeable in February, when the plant began running at higher capacities because the company switched to cheaper coal. The noise, at times evident during the day in parts of the city, is most noticeable at night when background noise from traffic and other sources decreases.

"We started burning different coal, so the fans don't have to run so much," Schreiber said. "We'll be taking some more sound measurements soon to see what effect those other measures have had on the noise."

Told of Ginsburg's comments on Monday, Schreiber said, "This is the first complaint we've had since we've started back up on Memorial Day."

The plant was shut down while the silencer was installed.

Schreiber said the company was doing everything it could to reduce any continuing noise.

"We'll continue to work at solutions until we can get the noise down," he said.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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