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What's the fracking noise?

2:48 PM, May 30, 2012   |    comments
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The fracking company is getting ready to drill for oil. It's a loud process, they admit, but one that must happen 24/7 so they can meet a deadline.

The operation is near two schools and just north of the Creekside neighborhood which consists of new homes built in the last three years or so.

Semi trucks were coming and going from the site all Tuesday morning and afternoon. Neighbors say the operation keeps them up all night. The company says they're on a tight schedule to minimize truck traffic before school starts up again.

"We can hear it all day and all night intermittently," Lex Coen, a nearby homeowner, said.

"I'm not happy about it. My 7-year-old son woke up about 3 a.m. and was wondering what the banging noises were, so yeah, it's definitely keeping us up," Wendy Leonard, who is renting a home in the neighborhood, said.

Encana Oil and Gas has received permission to drill eight wells for oil and gas at the location. Right now, the company is getting ready to drill - a process that can be louder than the actual drilling.

"Right now, we are setting conductor, and there is some noise associated with that conductor. At the same time, we're building sound mitigation out in anticipation for drilling operations," Wendy Wiedenbeck, Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. Community Relations Advisor, said.

After talking with stakeholder groups in the area, Encana says they made a decision to begin the operation after the school year ended, which was on Friday.

"Because we postponed operations until after the end of the school year, we are on a very tight timeframe to get these locations drilled and completed before students go back to school," Wiedenbeck said.

Wiedenbeck says Encana usually builds the sound mitigation before a project but had to build it at the same time at this location because of the delay.

Encana's goal is to wrap up drilling and completion activities by Aug. 15, and that means Encana's operation is going 24/7, just like they mentioned in the Courtesy Notice that was sent to people in the neighborhood.

One neighbor shared overnight video with 9NEWS with what appears to be loud booms coming from the operation while it's still dark outside.

"You can hear the noise from the operation happening all night, off and on pounding, drilling noises. It sounds like a chain dropping: ching, ching, ching, ching," Coen said.

That sound is too much for Leonard.

"Personally we've decided to move, we're out of this house in two days," Leonard said.

Other homeowners 9NEWS talked to say they're not that bothered by the noise and that Encana has done a good job explaining the process. Encana says there should be less noise in a few days, and that they plan on meeting with residents again soon to find out if the noise is still a problem.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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