I live close to the BP plant so I attended a little meeting that BP put on at the Ferndale library to explain some potential changes to their original plan and agreement with the county. Mostly adding to the timeline which didn’t bother me much. Sure there’s a lot of traffic during shift changes, but BP is good for the county and Ferndale so I won’t be complaining.What I will complain about and what does bother me is the agreement that Whatcom County made with BP over sound levels. There was a wonderful map that showed predicted sound levels around the area from the new generator. I was informed that they were predictions only and that the county was going to look at actual sound levels from 5 or 6 locations as part of the agreement. Sounds good except that all the check points were to the NW of the plant, towards Birch Bay. No sound checks to the East. No sound checks to the West. No sound checks to the South. I like and ass, assumed that a half dozen sound check stations in the area meant that they would be distributed around the area and not just towards Birch Bay. I turned in my comment regarding this, but the comments were directed at changes not the original plan. I’ll be contacting the council. I’m sure they will have a rational if not reasonable explanation.
Here is the letter I sent the Whatcom County Council.
Subject: Noise level monitoring near BP cogeneration plantI live very close to BP’s new addition. I attended the meeting that BP put on last night at the Ferndale Library mostly to learn if changes to plan would mean changes to sound levels at my house.
I had read minutes of meetings that the council had with BP and learned that there were sound checks done between the plant and homes in all directions. Fifteen locations if I recall correctly, with one of them directly between my home and the plant. I was a bit concerned that the measurements were done while there were leaves on the trees and not in winter when more sound would come through. But I rarely hear the plant now so I thought things would be fine.
What I learned last night has disturbed me though. I was told that while monitoring had been done all around the area there were only a handful of points that BP will be held accountable to the county for sound levels. ALL of these checkpoints on their map were between the plant and Birch Bay! None to the east. None to the west. None to the South. None to the northeast. It appears that the county is only concerned with sound levels in Birch Bay.
It appears to me that the county has no agreement with BP to protect my home, nor any homes to the west, east or south from adverse noise levels. Why?