Joffre Site facilities generate noise through normal manufacturing operations and increased levels during events — like process upsets or when shutting down or re-starting equipment. Noise emissions can be a 'nuisance' to our neighbors and minimizing noise generation is both a priority and an ongoing challenge.
Our detailed Noise Management Plan defines targets, identifies challenge areas and lists projects/activities underway to minimize noise generation. Plans include noise measurements to ensure we achieve targets and meet noise-related commitments we made to our neighbors.
Some of the Program Details
- All newer facilities (and most of the old) are equipped with a variety of silencers in exhaust stacks and lagging insulation around piping. During our most recent expansion, louder equipment was located inside buildings.
- Our operating policy is to minimize planned operating event noise — like flaring to safely shut-down or re-start a facility — to non-sleeping hours.
- A Site Operations Committee regularly reviews activity schedules to identify and minimize potential cumulative impacts on the site and our surrounding community.
- We proactively provide information on noisier activities to neighbors and openly discuss concerns with them. Neighbors can get updates on site operating conditions by calling 403.314.2882.
- Extensive monitoring is in place to measure our performance and ensure we are meeting our commitments. Continuous noise monitoring is done at two ambient air monitoring stations, and an annual offsite noise monitoring study is done to review impacts on neighboring residents. Non-continuous noise monitoring is conducted during some noisier activities to help us understand and work toward minimizing nuisance impacts to our neighbors.
- Personnel work with and communicate to regulatory authorities on noise-related performance.
Some of our Noise Management Successes
For many years we have concentrated on increasing the reliability of our facilities to reduce operating incidents and event noise, which can be a 'nuisance' to our neighbors. Operations personnel have had a lot of success with this and, generally, the normal operating noise level is quite acceptable to our neighbors.
During the last several years, significant effort and more $10 million has been directed toward sound abatement measures for both continuous and intermittent sound sources at all Joffre Site facilities. These include acoustical insulation, steam vent silencers, cooling tower fan design, enclosed construction and flare system design. To reduce noise impacts in our rail yard we invested in two new locomotives in 2000 with significantly quieter units. We continue to study our expanded rail storage area north of the site to understand potential impacts of certain rail activity on nearby residents to determine which activities may impact the community and if adjustments can be made.