Noise impact assessment and mitigation design for Fluor Corporation’s proposed a 1000 MW coal-fired Prairie State Energy Campus located in rural Illinois.
SCOPE OF WORK
The noise study’s purpose was to explore and recommend noise mitigation measures to meet state and county regulatory guidelines governing the rural Illinois site. The study’s scope was particularly comprehensive, consisting of background noise level measurements, modeling of both stationary and mobile noise sources, and mitigation measure recommendations with pricing.
The Illinois State Noise Regulation governs noise emissions for the proposed project. Because Part 901 of the Regulation states that “all measurements to assess compliance shall be corrected for the presence of ambient noise,” it was critical to measure background noise levels at the nine (9) critical receptors, which were nearby farm houses.
After establishing the existing noise levels, INNOVA developed an acoustical model of the coal-fired power plant and all mobile noise sources on the proposed site, including heavy rail traffic into and out of the facility. INNOVA then developed noise mitigation measures and provided the Client with estimated costs.
Noise level criteria and targets were established in accordance with the Illinois State nighttime noise regulations.
Noise limits for mobile source were derived from standards published by the American Public Transportation Association, United States Environment Protection Agency and a variety of international sources.
Over 350 noise sources were included in the analysis:
- mobile equipment—trucks, bulldozers and trains and their activities
- stationary sources within the plant facilities
- Coal pulverizer
- Steam turbine generator and condenser
- Cooling tower
- Exhaust stacks
Research on noise produced by locomotive engines, shunting and unloading of coal was also conducted.
UNIQUE PROJECT HURDLES
The site was complex with a coal handling facility, ball mill building, transfer/crusher building, boiler building, turbine building and large conveyors that moved coal from a mine site located several thousand feet away. In addition, heavy rail traffic moved limestone and waste products to and from the facility. This train noise proved to be a study in itself, containing a host of noise sources, from wheels to locomotives. The size of trains and even rail configuration, all had an impact on noise levels. The noise limits also needed precise interpretation and INNOVA liaised with the state authorities to confirm guidelines.
The project was successfully completed over a two month period. INNOVA presented the study’s findings to the client as well as the project developers.