Monitoring and Assessment of Residential Exposure to Noise Associated with Natural Gas Compressor Stations in West Virginia

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Boyle, Meleah
Sapkota, Amy R
Noise is a growing concern for residents living near natural gas compressor stations. This study monitored and evaluated residential noise exposure associated with living near natural gas compressor stations in West Virginia. Short-term outdoor measurements (20 min) and medium-term (24-hour) indoor and outdoor measurements were collected at homes located near compressor stations. The average sound equivalent was calculated using logarithmic averages and stratified by distance from compressor station, time of day, and location. Average short-term noise levels were 61.43 dBA (45.3 to 76.1 dBA); average 24-hour noise levels were 60.20 dBA (35.3 to 94.8 dBA). Average noise levels at control homes were 51.40 dBA, with 45.02 dBA indoors and 54.03 dBA outdoors. Average noise levels at homes near compressor stations were 8.7 dBA higher, with a 16.25 dBA difference indoors and a 4.3 dBA difference outdoors. Results indicate that living near a natural gas compressor station may increase environmental noise exposure.