LG&E plant blowing off steam, waking neighbors - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

LG&E plant blowing off steam, waking neighbors

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LG&E Mill Creek Station LG&E Mill Creek Station
Mark Romines Mark Romines

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville man said it is like waking up in the middle of the night with a jet hovering overhead, but his house is not next to the airport. It is next to a LG&E power plant. So the viewer asked the WAVE 3 Troubleshooter Department to find out what was disturbing his sleep. Troubleshooter Eric Flack went to LG&E to get answers.

Mark Romines said it is the last thing you want to hear in the middle of the night, "It's like sitting on the end of the runway behind a jet," Romines said.

Twice in late June Romines was woken up by a dull roar coming from the LG&E Mill Creek Station, which sits less than a quarter of a mile behind his home off Dixie Highway.

We went to LG&E to find out what was going on. Vice President of Communications, Chris Whalen, said the noise is made by an emergency steam release. "Think about it like a pressure cooker," Whalen said.

Plant managers activate the release when the pressure inside the plant reaches unsafe levels. Sometimes, Whalen said, that happens in the middle of the night. "We are a 24 hour operation," Whalen said. "It's not like we can schedule when it happens. It happens when it happens."

Whalen also told us the only person to ever complain about it is Romines.

"LG&E is like it's part of life its what we do," Romines said of his conversations with plant managers about the problem. "It's not part of life."

Is Romines really the only one bothered by the noise from the plant? Troubleshooter Eric Flack decided to ask some of his neighbors.

Hubert Joseph lives across the street from Romines. He said he is also bothered by the pressure release, which is loud enough to wake up both his kids.

"Daddy it's that sound again," Joseph remembered his young children telling him last time the noise woke them up. "It sounds like there is a train in the yard."

Whalen told us there is a way around the problem. The company could buy equipment that muffles the noise. Whalen said LG&E does not want to pay for it.

"We don't make these decisions and add extra equipment that customers would have to pay for unless we felt like there was a need," Whalen said, "And we have not felt like there was a need for that.

Romines said that excuse, is not good enough. "Everybody's bills are going up anyway," he said.

The Troubleshooter went and recorded the noise the valves make. He was told by LG&E that the morning the noise was recorded the plant had a safety valve lift, making the noise particularly loud. LG&E said the steam release is usually much quieter. Romines and some of his neighbors still disagree.

 

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