Chronological Index for August 1999

1990: Sep
1994: Jul Sep
1996: Jun Jul Sep Oct Nov Dec
1997: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1998: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
1999: Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000: Jan Feb Mar Apr


August 2, 1999

San Diego Letters to the Editor Sound Off On Aircraft Noise From Miramar Military Base. The San Diego Union-Tribune prints several letters to the editor on the issue of noise from Miramar Military Base. Some residents criticized city officials for dumping a new Port District administrator's ideas for not following the proper chain of command. Others criticized the relocation of flight paths that would put noise control ahead of safety, or shift noise to a more rural area.

Residents Around Dekalb-Peachtree Airport In Atlanta, Georgia Oppose Expansion Project. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that a plan to rezone 3.5 acres at 765-acre Dekalb-Peachtree Airport in Atlanta, Georgia for a new corporate hangar is being vehemently opposed by residents, saying they want no more jet traffic at the airport: already Georgia's second largest. An active community group wants to prevent all expansion at the airport.

Residents of Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania Are Upset Over Noise From Highway Construction Blasting and Potential Noise From the Finished Highway; They Also Oppose a Zoning Proposal That Would Allow a Salt Dome and Police Barracks to Be Built Nearby. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that residents of Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania are upset about a highway construction project that promises to subject them to daily dynamite blasts for ten months. Currently, construction-workers' shifts end begin at 6 a.m. and end at midnight, but soon those hours may be extended until 4:30 a.m. The blasting and construction is part of a project to create a 65-mile toll highway between Pittsburgh and Interstate highways in West Virginia.

Yesterday's Seldom-Used Highway Has Become Today's Noisy Expressway; Rural Neighbors Are Upset. The Sun-Sentinel reports that the Sawgrass Expressway, in North Lauderdale, Florida has gone from a seldom-used highway dubbed "the road to nowhere" in 1986 to a noisy expressway that is increasingly disturbing to rural residents. Some residents are particularly upset by noise from a two month resurfacing project, while others moved here for a country life that they feel is now disrupted.

Annapolis, Maryland City Council Considers Revisions to Make a New Public Nuisance Law More Specific. The Capital reports that the City Council Public Safety Committee in Annapolis, Maryland has recommended changes to a newly revised public nuisance law. Revisions were meant to specify offenses in more detail than state laws.

Noise Restrictions and Runway Layout Blamed for Congestion at Sydney, Australia's Kingsford Smith Airport. Aviation Week and Space Technology reports that Sydney, Australia's Kingsford Smith Airport (KSA) is facing inefficiency and safety problems due in large part to noise restrictions. Regulations which encourage the frequent switching of runways to spread noise is "tiring, demoralizing and overwhelming [to] air traffic controllers." Pilots are often asked to land on runways against high winds, even when safer runways are available, for the sake of noise reduction. Flight-paths are often restricted in an attempt to reduce noise, which pilots say are futile and wasteful. Some successful noise-regulation measures have included maximization of flight-time over water, and a night curfew on passenger jets.

Tokyo High Court Grant Residents Living Near U.S. Air Base Monetary Compensation, But Won't Ban Night Flights; Residents Won't Appeal. The Mainichi Daily News reports that the Tokyo High Court ruled that the government must pay 170 million yen to residents living near the U.S. Asugi Naval Air Facility who have been disturbed by aircraft noise. All night-flights will be allowed to continue, although even the lower courts were considering a ban on some flights. The residents will not appeal the ruling.

Complaints Over Noise From Aircraft Engine Testing Spurs Revision of Local Laws. The Evening Standard reports that the planning commission in Palmerston, New Zealand may limit noise from aircraft engine testing. The limits wouldn't go into effect until January of 2001. The issue became controversial when a particular airline began routinely servicing -- and testing -- engines at night; that airline has since moved its servicing operation.

Hospitality Industry in Newport, Rhode Island Works with Police and Local Government to Lessen Noise and Other Nuisance Problems. The Nation's Restaurant News reports that the hospitality industry in Newport, Rhode Island is working with local officials and police to reduce noise and nuisance problems. A consultant was hired by the Rhode Island Hospitality and Tourism Association (RIHTA), and has proposed changes including later closing times -- to allow intoxicated patrons to order food and use the bathroom before hitting the streets -- and the informal training and certification of doormen. Tourism promotions will also include information on penalties for nuisance behavior in an attempt to curb inappropriate actions by visitors.

Proposed Ordinance in Ybor, Florida Is Aimed to Quiet Loud Clubs; Other Noise Sources Still Make Up Majority of the Problem. The Tampa Tribune reports that a proposed new ordinance in Ybor, Florida will limit noise levels in residential areas to 55 decibels at the listener's property line, and downtown businesses will be limited to 85 decibels at their property line. Critics say that bars are only part of the problem, and note that many noisemakers are exempt.

Protesters in Sham Tseng, China Stage Silent Sit-In to Urge Adoption of Noise Control Measures When New Runway Begins Operations. The South China Morning Post reports that protesters in Sham Tseng, China staged a silent sit-in to protest aircraft noise near their homes. Protesters want a noise law limiting aircraft noise in certain districts, but officials say that an environmental impact conducted before a second runway was added showed acceptable noise levels.

August 3, 1999

FAA Officials Hear Noise Complaints From Previously Unaffected Neighborhoods In Orange County, California and Concerns About a New Airport at Former El Toro Marines Base. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently addressed concerns over increasing noise in previously unaffected areas in Orange County, California. Residents also worry that a new airport at El Toro could make the noise problems even worse. FAA officials claimed that no flight paths, which take most jets over Orange County at 15,000 feet, have changed. The FAA would not comment on its opinion regarding a possible commercial airport at El Toro before Orange County supervisors complete a master proposal.

U.K. Study Highlights Earlier Hearing Problems, Spurs Safer Sound Campaign in Scotland. The Scotsman reports that a Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) study has found that 80% of young people don't worry about their hearing, although half of them have trouble listening to loud music. RNID has started a Safer Sound campaign to encourage people to protect their hearing; the campaign is encouraged by a Norway study which found a 50% reduction in hearing problems after a seven-year public-awareness campaign.

Palmerston North, New Zealand City Council Supports Strict Noise Controls on New Night-Testing of Jet Engines, Now that Variance for Specific Tests Have Lapsed. The Evening Standard reports that since an unpopular noise variance granted by Palmerston North, New Zealand's City Council has expired, the council is working towards stricter noise limits for night-time jet-engine testing. The council now supports a required enclosure for any night-time engine testing. Proposed limits include a maximum of 70 decibels as measured from a residential boundary, and a maximum hourly average of 55 decibels, "with an allowable rise one night a month to 60."

Bar in Knoxville, Tennessee Launches Call-In Campaign Against City Council's Noise Ordinance; Citations Have Forced the Bar to Stop Offering Live Music. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that after two noise citations in one night, a Knoxville, Tennessee bar has canceled its live music and launched a call-in campaign against the City Council's noise ordinance. The noise ordinance sets a decibel limit of 80 before midnight and 75 after, although the bar owner said bands need 90 decibels.

Scientists Say Hearing Loss Is Partially Due to Genetic Predisposition, In Addition to Exposure to Loud Noise. The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News reports that although loud noise undoubtedly plays a role in hearing loss, scientists are discovering that genetic predisposition plays a large part as well.

Oklahoma City Transportation Department Approves Noise Wall Where It Was Previously Said to Be Unfeasible; Change Of Heart Reflects New Uses for Road and New Noise-Dampening Materials. The Tulsa World reports that the Oklahoma Transportation Commission has approved a 1,300-foot, $250,000 noise wall along a section of Interstate 44. The commission originally considered the wall as part of a 1990 highway contract. "Changes in the operation" of the road, as well as new noise-dampening materials have now made a noise wall possible.

Knoxville, Tennessee's McGhee Tyson Airport Receives $3.2-Million From Federal Government, In Part to Pay for Noise Mitigation. The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport will soon receive $3.2-million from the federal government, $2.6-million of which will help pay for past noise mitigation. Additional land may be purchased with the money as well. The airport authority hopes to perform another $6-million in noise abatement work; it will be responsible for 10% of the costs.

Noise and Smell from Chicken Farm in Bream, United Kingdom Is So Bad that District Councillors Are Recommending that a Proposed Development of Forty Houses Be Built Elsewhere. The Gloucester Citizen reports that a proposal to build forty houses near a noisy, smelly chicken farm in Bream, U.K. has met with resistance from the District Council.

Complaints From a Chapel Hill, North Carolina Resident About Noise From a Golf Course Fan Prompted Council Member to Propose Short-Term Fix to Forbid "Continuous" Noise; Long-Term Fix May Tighten Decibel Limits In General. The Chapel Hill Herald reports that noise from a country-club fan designed to circulate air around putting-green grass has caused a council member to propose a short-term solution revision to the ordinance that forbids "continuous" noise. After almost two years of complaints from a resident, the council is considering lower decibel limits, though the decision is several months away.

Construction at Nottingham, U.K. Market Avoids Shopping Hours But Ruins Residents' Mornings and Evenings. The Nottingham Evening Post reports that an indoor market in Nottingham, United Kingdom is undergoing a 100,000-GBP construction project that stops during the day to avoid bothering shoppers, but assaults residents with noise in the early morning, in the evening, and on weekends. City council wants an investigation into noise levels, but says "all we can do is ask residents to be patient...."

Torbay, U.K. Pub's New Night License Has Caused Patrons to Talk Outside At All Hours, Leading to Noise Complaints. The Herald Express reports that a pub in Torbay, United Kingdom is causing numerous noise complaints after it received a license to operate late at night. The owner says the complaints are made mainly by elderly people, and that he has never had any problems inside the bar.

Posselt, New Zealand Resident Complains that Aviary Birds Were Disturbed By a Recent Motorcycle Race. The Evening Standard reports that a resident of Palmerston North complained to the City Council and the SPCA that a recent motorbike race in the area "must have been distressed" by the noise. City officials said that the event was "fully assessed" and open to public comment, although none were made. The curator of the aviary "said there was no evidence the birds were stressed." The SPCA said it would investigate the matter when more information was available.

Army Weapons Range in West Melton, New Zealand to Be Upgraded; Upgrade to Include Trees and Berms to Increase Safety and Reduce Noise, But Some Residents Are Still Concerned. The Press reports that an army weapons range in West Melton, New Zealand will receive trees and 3-meter as part of a $1-million upgrade to address residents' safety and noise concerns. Most residents were happy with the army's efforts, and thought that safety issues were well addressed, but they still worried about noise.

Burbank Airport's Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Passes Resolution to Reduce All Residential Average Noise Impacts to Below 65-Decibels. The Los Angeles Times reports that Burbank Airport will try to reduce average noise levels in all surrounding residential areas to below 65 decibels.

August 4, 1999

Carmel, Indiana's New Noise Ordinance Includes Stiffer Fines and Specific Noise Limits. The Indianapolis Star reports that Carmel, Indiana has passed a new noise ordinance that includes fines ranging from $250 to $2,500; it forbids 90 decibels as measured from six feet away, and any audible noise from forty feet away. Officers will respond to noise complaints armed with decibel meters and tape measures. Some council members were worried that the stricter rules were getting into "government overkill" mode.

Bath, Maine's Bath Iron Works Has Kept River-Platform Construction Quiet Recently, but Residents Plan to Ask for More at a Public Meeting This Week. The Portland Press Herald reports that Bath, Maine's Bath Iron Works plans to hold a public meeting this week to discuss its sometimes-noisy construction in the Kennebec River. Pile-driving scheduled for later this year has the potential to be loud, and residents want to assure quiet.

Bed and Breakfast Owner Pressures Camden, Maine to Modify Noise Ordinance After Construction Noise at 6 a.m. Wakes His Guests. The Bangor Daily News reports that a Camden, Maine Bed and Breakfast owner wants the town to change its noise ordinance to include early morning construction on private property. He says street work in the summer meant jackhammers as early as 6 a.m. , and meant guests leaving earlier than planned. Town officials say that disturbing noises aren't always loud enough in decibels to violate the noise ordinance, but that police responding to a complaint would have agreed that a jackhammer at 6 a.m. was unreasonable.

Chicago Suburb Police Attack Loud Car Stereos By Impounding Cars and Levying High Fines. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that several suburbs around Chicago have been fighting an epidemic of loud car stereos by impounding cars and issuing fines of up to $500. Some police departments are allowed to use their own judgment to determine violators, while some communities have set distances -- such as 75 feet -- at which noise can not be audible. Courts generally allow police to impound cars when the driver breaks a specific law, although the American Civil Liberties Union says it's a "quick fix."

Montford, North Carolina Residents Complain About Continuing Noise from Loud Car Stereos and Reckless Drivers; New Noise Ordinance to Raise Fines for Repeat Offenders. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Montford, North Carolina residents are being disturbed by noise from loud car stereos and reckless drivers, especially at night. A new ordinance is being considered which would raise the $50 fine for repeat offenders. Police find the current ordinance difficult to enforce since in most cases neither officers nor residents have actually witnessed the crime being committed; they are trying to create a community watch, and are increasing patrols in the area.

Greensboro, North Carolina Creates Growth Plan, Taking Into Consideration the Effects of Noise from a Proposed Federal Express Runway. The News & Record reports that a group of residents, business leaders, and local planners have agreed on a development plan for Greensboro, North Carolina, influenced by potential noise from a proposed new airport runway. There will be a moratorium on providing city services such as water and sewer in potential high-noise areas to discourage development.

Proposed Airport Near Dublin, Ireland Would Thrust Noise Upon Wealthy Suburb Residents. The Irish Times reports that a proposed new airport in Baldonnel, Ireland would irritate residents of several upscale Dublin suburbs. The airports flight path would pass over suburbs at altitudes as low as 1,000 feet, and that even if the airline reduced its noise intensity, the frequency of flights "can be as disturbing as the actual noise, particularly at night."

August 5, 1999

FAA Refining Plans for a Sharper Left Turn at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in Florida; Turn Should Ease Noise for Many on Mainland, Increase Noise for Some on Longboat Key. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is refining its plans for a sharper left turn to be used by aircraft at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in Florida. The turn will reduce noise for many on the mainland, but some people -- though the FAA notes the number is smaller than those helped on the mainland -- on Longboat Key will be subjected to increased noise.

Calgary Rail Yard Should Not Create Noise Problem at Nearby General Hospital. The Calgary Herald reports that a rail yard and repair shop -- which will be located within 600 feet of the General Hospital in Calgary -- should not create a noise problem. Repairs will be made inside, and whistles will not need to be blown when trains are shunting.

California's Burbank Airport and Burbank City Council Agree on New Terminal; Airport Gets Bigger Terminal Without Night-Flight Curfew, But Gets No More Gates Until Curfew is Implemented. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that California's Burbank Airport and Burbank's City Council have agreed on conditions for the building a new terminal. Critics of the agreement believe that the city of Burbank are "traitors", saying that the airport is still being allowed to build a larger terminal -- albeit with the same number of gates -- without a curfew that would help existing noise problems. Proponents of the plan claim that "There will be no expansion of the airport without protection against noise and traffic," and site other restrictions that give them control over the airport.

Hammond, Louisiana Council Impatient with Legal Department's Pace in Developing Noise Laws. The Advocate reports that Hammond, Louisiana's City Council, which asked to develop noise laws months ago, may finally see "new proposals dealing with city alcohol permits and regulations procedures" this week. Residents have been complaining about noise from loud stereos, car stereos, and staged dog fights for at least five years.

Japanese Government Foregoes Appeal and Agrees to Pay 170 Million Yen For Noise Caused By Military Airfield. The Japan Economic Newswire reports that the Japanese government has decided not to appeal a High Court decision that required a payment of 170 million yen to 134 residents who live near a noisy military base. Residents filed a suit in 1984 that the noise caused by aircraft activity at the base caused substantial mental anguish.

Farmington, Utah Sound Walls Under Contention; Council Doesn't Want to Build Ugly Concrete Walls, While Residents Who Do Have Forced a Public Vote. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that noise walls -- proposed along Farmington Utah's Interstate 15 -- are as source of local disagreement. Council members want more time to study more aesthetic alternatives, but residents have forced a public initiative vote that could overrule a 'no' vote by the council. Utah's Department of Transportation (UDOT) has offered to build the walls along Interstate 15, but the council is studying alternatives such as earthen berms and trees.

Tavares, Florida Noise Ordinance In Place, Though Specific Decibel Limits Are Absent. The Orlando Sentinel reports that although Tavares, Florida has now passed a noise ordinance, it conspicuously lacks 'teeth' in the form of specific standards. Residents began asking for an ordinance because of repeated noise disturbances from a particular restaurant.

Davie, Florida Rodeo Grounds Create Noise that Disturbs Residents; One Resident Still Waiting After Two Years for Town to Say Whether Noise Levels Violate the Local Ordinance and Whether a Noise Wall Can Be Built. The Sun-Sentinel reports that a resident of Davie, Florida is disturbed by noise from the local rodeo grounds. Two years after he sent a letter and petition to local officials, asking them to somehow enclose the noise, he hasn't gotten a response. The three departments that he has been referred to over the years say they are still "working on [it]."

Readfield, Maine Planning Board Approves Wood Chipper for Transfer Station; Residents Say Noise and Dust -- Possibly Carcinogenic -- Will Affect Public Health and Wildlife. The Kennebec Journal reports that Readfield, Maine residents are upset over the Planning Board's approval of a wood chipper at the local transfer station. Residents worry that the noise and dust from the chipper could cause health problems and general disruption of the community. Station officials say that noise will be reduced by infrequent operation times, and dust will be reduced by chipping wood into a closed truck.

Letters to the Editor From Residents East of San Diego, California's Miramar Naval Base Upset Over Proposed New Flight Path for Noisy Helicopters. The San Diego Union-Tribune prints a series of letters to the editor from residents who are upset about an eastern flight path for helicopters from San Diego's Miramar military base. The letters allege that the flight path will impact middle-class people more than the rich, and say that just because the flight path will affect fewer people doesn't mean it's better. Residents say that although they knew of the base when they moved in, they didn't know the flight paths would be moved over their heads and be used increasingly for louder aircraft. Some alternative routes are suggested.

If Proposed Airport at Former El Toro Marines Base in California Is Not Approved, John Wayne Airport May Be Expanded; Expansion Could Exacerbate Problems in Newport, California. The Orange County Register reports that if the proposed airport at the former El Toro Marines Base in Orange County, California is not approved, John Wayne Airport may be expanded. Critics of that plan fear it would bring increased problems with environment, traffic, noise and property values. Some also believe that El Toro would help tourism and business in the area, although critics say that only select businesses would be helped while others were hurt.

All Three Candidates for Town Council in Narragansett, Rhode Island Support a Noise Ordinance Review. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that in a three-way race for a town council seat in Narragansett, Rhode Island, noise has arisen as an issue. All the candidates agree that the noise ordinance should be reviewed.

Noise Committee Votes to Support New Runway at Boston's Logan Airport; Committee Says Runway Will Help Mitigate Certain Overburdened Communities, While Opponents Say Other Communities Will Be Hurt. The Patriot Ledger reports that Milton, Massachusetts' airplane noise committee voted unanimously to support a new $22-million, 5,000 foot runway at Boston's Logan Airport. They say that the new runway will help reduce the percentage of takeoffs made to the west of the airport. Many in South Boston -- traditionally a less wealthy area -- oppose the new runway which would send more flights over their communities. Projections show a 3.4 % increase in flights at Logan, regardless of whether the new runway is approved.

Commons Representative From Leicestershire, U.K. Pushes For Regulation of Aircraft Activity Beyond Current Proposals, Including A Cap On Numbers of Flights. The Leicester Mercury reports that a Commons representative from North West Leicestershire in the United Kingdom is calling for even more airport noise-control measures, especially at night, including restrictions on "the number of air traffic movements and the types of aircraft being operated, along with a control on the times of operation."

Toronto Letter to the Editor Criticizes Weekend Street Festivals as Inconsiderate to Those Residents Who Work on Monday. The Toronto Star prints a letter to the editor from a Toronto resident who is fed up with noise from street festivals. She says that her busy work week leaves her exhausted, and weekend festivals make it impossible to relax and recover. She says street festivals should be at least 500 meters from residences.

Los Angeles Columnist Dubs Van Nuys Airport 'Van Noise' Now That the Airport Commission Will Allow Private Jet Flights By Celebrities, the Wealthy, and Corporations to Continue Until 2010. The New Times Los Angeles prints an amusing, sarcastic, no-punches-pulled column against a recent Los Angeles Airport Commission 'plan' to reduce noise that allows noisy, private jets of celebrities and corporate types to continue flights out of Van Nuys Airport until 2010. "By that time, areas near the jets' extensive flight patterns will be nothing more than slums-in-training." She discusses history of the problem, common airport excuses, the names of the jet owners who would rather not be named, and one-sided economic justifications.

Los Angeles Pays for Extra Soundproofing For Seven Homes Near Noisy Street. The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angles will pay for additional soundproofing for several homes near a busy street as part of a widening project.

Apartments Near Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Be Soundproofed With Airport's Money; Many Property Owners Who Are Eligible for the Soundproofing Have Declined, Since a Condition of the Soundproofing is a Permanent Easement for Aircraft Overflights. The Fort Worth Start-Telegram reports that although several apartment complexes near Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in Irving, Texas will be soundproofed, many property owners don't wish to grant the permanent easement that is required before soundproofing takes place Only $3-million of the $18-million available has been spent.

Train Whistles Cause Disturbances in Glen Rock, New Jersey. The Record reports that several residences have gathered 60 signatures from those who are disturbed by excessive train whistles in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Passenger and Freight companies say they are just following state and federal rules, but the Federal Railroad Administration says that railroads submit their own whistle guidelines for approval. A pending request to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) would allow engineers to blow the whistles less often if special 'quad gates' are installed at intersections to deter motorists from crossing the tracks when a train is coming

Atlanta Columnist Explains What Must Happen for Erection of a Noise Barrier. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution prints a question and answer column, which includes a question about why noise barriers have not been installed in front of certain highway-noise-impacted properties. The columnist answers that several criteria -- including a maximum cost per residence and a requirement that a noise wall must be part of a highway widening project -- must be met beyond the minimum 69 decibels of noise impact to qualify an area for a wall.

Burbank, California Reaches Agreement with Burbank Airport Regarding Expansion Plan; Residents and the City of Los Angeles Continue to Disapprove. The Los Angeles Times reports that Burbank, California has reached an agreement with the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority over plans for expansion at Burbank Airport. A new terminal with the same number of gates has been approved in exchange for night closure of the building. Certain additional conditions must be met to allow the airport to expand to 16 and 19 gates from the current 14. Residents feel that the deal "is a total and complete sellout of the principles we have fought for for years." Los Angeles also dislikes the deal, because of a section that institutes a permanent ban on eastern takeoffs, shunting the overflight burden to L.A.

August 6, 1999

Salvation Army In Old Orchard Beach, Maine Cited For Noise From Its Annual Meeting. The Portland Press Herald reports that in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, the Salvation Army has been cited with a noise violation. The group was warned earlier this week, but noise levels from its two-week annual meeting continued to exceed local limits.

Scottish Soldier's Claim that Army Damaged His Hearing Is Rejected. The Herald reports that a claim from a former soldier in Scotland, who says his 53% hearing loss is due to excessive noise he was subjected to in the army, has been rejected. Since his army discharge was in 1990, the judge decided he had waited too long beyond the usual three-year period.

New Ohio Law Will Impose Fines on Loud Boats. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that as of January 1st, boat motorists with motors louder than 90 decibels will be given with a $100-$1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. Boaters with loud motors will be ordered to put on mufflers that cost from $400-$800.

Chicago Suburb Residents Living Near Edens Expressway Pleased With State's Agreement to Help Build a Noise Wall; The Decision Is the First Time the State Has Funded Noise Mitigation Separately From a Road Expansion Project. The Chicago Tribune reports that for the first time, Illinois' FIRST program will be used to help pay for a noise wall along a section of road that is not undergoing expansion. The 18-foot wall will cost $1-million to $1.5-million per mile, and the local communities will be expected to put up matching funds for the project. The communities have already put up $100,000 collectively to pay for a study to determine the details of the wall.

While Residents Near Florida's Turnpike Are Upset That Noise Walls May Not Be Built, Residents Along U.S. Route 441 Don't Want Walls To Be Built. The Sun-Sentinel reports that residents along the Florida Turnpike near Fort Lauderdale want a noise wall to be built when the turnpike is expanded, but transportation officials say that the population isn't dense enough to warrant a wall. Residents along U.S. 441, who will be getting sound walls, don't want them. They fear that the ugly walls will detract from property values.

Clinton Administration Announces Grants for Improvements at California Airports; Much of the Grants Are Earmarked for Noise Mitigation At Los Angeles International Airport. The City News Service reports that a $32.3-million grant for improvements at California airports was announced today by the Clinton administration. $17.3-million will be used for noise mitigation around Los Angeles International Airport.

Universal Studios May Be Planning a New Theme Park In Orlando, Florida; Residents, Already Burdened By Firework and Roller-Coaster Noise From Nearby Parks, Remain Wary. The Orlando Business Journal reports that Universal Studios may be finalizing development plans for part of a 2,000-acre property in the area, though they say they have submitted no development plans. They asked an Orange County development committee to revise their minutes, which suggested that Universal had submitted some form of development plans. Universal has generated noise complaints in the past, and has attempted to mitigate the noise in question.

August 7, 1999

Bath, Maine Residents Thank Bath Iron Works for Quieting Noise, but Worry that Imminent Pile Driving Will Be Louder. The Portland Press Herald reports that Bath, Maine residents have thanked Bath Iron Works (BIW) for keeping the noise down of late, but worry that upcoming pile driving in the river will be too loud. BIW has taken many noise-reduction steps to keep nighttime noise down in the past month.

New Orleans International Airport Is Conducting a Noise Study; Public Hearing Scheduled Tuesday. The Times-Picayune reports that a second hearing on airport noise is scheduled for Tuesday in New Orleans, after residents said they didn't have enough advance warning about the first one in May. The hearing will present information on a current study at New Orleans International Airport and highlight noise-reduction efforts at other airports.

Simsbury, Connecticut Plans to Establish a Noise Ordinance. The Hartford Courant reports that Simsbury, Connecticut officials are working with police to develop a local noise ordinance that would fine violators $50.

Plympton St. Maurice, U.K. Pub Fined for Noise Violations. The Evening Herald reports that a pub manager in Plympton St. Maurice was fined 250 pounds for each of four noise violations after a noise abatement notice was served. The man admitted to the violations, but said the brewery was supposed to soundproof the walls.

Consultant for Power Company Says Proposed Plant Will Meet Noise Limits; Planning Department Officials Question Why Few Alternatives Were Considered to Plant Arrangement. The Chicago Tribune reports that the McHenry County, Illinois Planning Department questioned the methods used to evaluate noise from a proposed power plant near Woodstock. According to a consultant, noise would be well below local limits. Officials were wary after learning that no other alternatives were considered, other than putting turbines in the barn.

Lorain County Residents and Officials Express Concerns Over Increased Rail Traffic; Top Concerns Were Safety, Noise and Blocked Roads, and Officials Noted that Continued Complaints to Federal Government Was the Best Road to Change. The Plain Dealer reports that residents and officials from several communities in Lorain County, Ohio gathered at a forum to discuss the problem of increased rail traffic. Residents were upset about noise from trains, but officials said that whistles shouldn't be quieted until safety can be improved: in part by building overpasses. Ohio Rail Development Commission officials suggested continued pressure on the transportation department to fight for the overpasses: an approach that worked in the Cleveland area.

August 8, 1999

Van Nuys Airport Hearing Attendee Furious With Los Angeles Airport Commissioners for Not Voting With Anti-Noise Sentiment. The Los Angeles Times prints a letter to the editor from a Sherman Oaks, California resident. The author abruptly and concisely trashes the Los Angeles airport commissioners for ignoring resident protests over noise.

Seattle, Washington Resident Irritated By Noise From Inconsiderate Night Clubs. The Seattle Times prints a letter to the editor written by a noise activist in Seattle, Washington. She writes that nightclubs in the area need to learn to be good neighbors who operate within noise limits.

Legality of a "Back-Door" Curfew at Burbank Airport is Uncertain; Industry Officials Say It Would Be a Bad Precedent, But the FAA Remains Silent. The Los Angeles Times reports that the nighttime closure of the terminal at California's Burbank Airport was designed by city officials attempting to sidestep federal requirements for a nighttime flight curfew; the nighttime closure is part of a deal to build a new terminal at the airport. Airline industry officials claim the closure is not legal, but airport officials say they've done it before; the FAA has not commented. One anti-noise activist says the effective curfew would only push nighttime flights into the daytime, increasing noise. Also, general aviation flights will not be affected by the terminal closure.

Franz Josef, New Zealand Residents Want Noisy Helicopter Base to Relocate, but Operators Say That Would Hurt Business; Local Officials and Operators Have Tentatively Agreed to a Relocation Slightly Down-River. The Sunday Star-Times reports that residents in Franz Josef, New Zealand want a noisy helicopter base -- which serves mainly to shuttle tourists to and from the Franz Josef glacier -- to relocate. Some say helicopters bring in tourists, others say noise drives them away. Operators say they don't want to move their operation too far out of town, but are open to moving further down the river. Health reports and local officials have also supported a relocation.

Business Owners and Residents in Melville, New York Oppose a New Senior Citizen Housing Development In an Industrial District; Noise, Dust and Traffic Would Irritate Residents and Be Unsafe. Newsday reports that residents and businesses in Melville, New York oppose a proposed senior citizen housing development in a busy industrial zone. They say that traffic, noise, and dust from the nearby businesses would irritate seniors as well as put them in danger. Developers claim that trees and earthen berms will protect the development from noise, but critics say that noise will get through and so will dust and sand that regularly clog air conditioners in the area. The developers will need 4 out of 5 council votes, since so many area residents oppose the rezoning. The article reports that residents and businesses in Melville, New York oppose a proposed senior citizen housing development in a busy industrial zone. They say that traffic, noise, and dust from the nearby businesses would irritate seniors as well as put them in danger.

August 9, 1999

Mayor of O'Fallon, Missouri Admits He Purchased the Wrong Sound System for a Local Stadium, and Asks Aldermen to Budget for a Better, Quieter System. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the mayor of O'Fallon, Missouri admitted he purchased an inappropriately-loud sound-system for the "Little Rascals" baseball stadium. The system has caused noise complaints from residents around the stadium, and the mayor asked the aldermen to fund a new system; converting to the new system could cost $30,000-$100,000. Since the loud system was installed, the city has hired "a sound consultant, changed positions of the speakers and enacted a noise ordinance."

Federal Aviation Administration, Louisville International Airport, Kentucky's Legislature, and the 450-Family Minor Lane Heights Community Work Together to Relocate the Entire City For Noise Mitigation Purposes. Aviation Week and Space Technology reports that the 450-family community of Minor Lane Heights, with help from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Kentucky's Legislature, and Louisville International Airport, will relocate their entire city for noise mitigation purposes. The efforts that led to this innovative approach to noise mitigation are detailed below.

New Noise-Reduction System for Airplanes Differs From Past Types. Aviation Week and Space Technology reports that Cooper Tire and Rubber Company has developed a new electronic noise reduction system for airplane cockpits and cabins.

Environmental Impact Statement For Native American Tribe's Amphitheater Convinces Officials to Approve the Project, But a Community Group in the Seattle, Washington Area Says the Theater Would Ruin the Rural Character of the Area. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that a $30-million amphitheater near Auburn, Washington has earned a favorable environmental impact statement. A community group says that the impact report is a joke that "damages the credibility of the government agencies that oversaw it." The group claims that the rural character of the area will be ruined by the theater, and plans to attempt to block further construction through legal means.

Commerce Magazine Criticizes Burbank, California's Fight Against Terminal Construction and Expansion at Burbank Airport. Traffic World prints an article suggesting that Burbank, California has been unreasonable in its fight against terminal construction and expansion at Burbank Airport. It criticizes anti-noise efforts as an extension of the "not in my backyard" philosophy, and said a proposed night-time ban, and another proposed ban on engine hush-kits, would be a scary, first example of unreasonable restrictions on Stage 3 aircraft. Industry representatives claim that an informal curfew has encouraged 95% compliance, but don't discuss how much less disruptive it is to have your sleep interrupted by 5% of planes as opposed to a larger percentage.

August 10, 1999

Banning, California Council to Vote on New Noise Ordinance. The Press-Enterprise reports that Banning, California's City Council will be voting tonight on the adoption of a new noise ordinance.

Vero Beach, Florida Resident Criticizes Flight Safety Company For Noisy Touch and Go Flights, Praises Mayor for Beginning Use of Noise-Monitoring Equipment. The Press Journal prints a letter to the editor which criticizes Flight Safety International's noisy touch and go flights. The author says that the company has done nothing to mitigate noise, and praises the mayor for instituting a noise-measurement program at the airport.

Residents Near Noisy Expressway Construction in Westmount, Montreal Feel Ignored By Transportation Department; Construction Crews Have Already Been Fined $2,500 on Fifteen Occasions for Excessive Noise. The Gazette reports that residents near expressway construction in Westmount -- near Canada's Montreal -- feel ignored by officials as noise forces them to lose sleep. Officials have measured sound peaks of up to 98 decibels, when the limit is 65 at night and 75 during the day. The expressway will be under construction until November. Residents took a petition to Transport Quebec offices when they learned that community police had no jurisdiction in the matter.

New Train-Maintenance Shop In Cote St. Luc, Canada May Be Noisy, City Officials Say. The Gazette reports that city officials in Cote St. Luc, Canada are worried that noise from a new train-maintenance shop will cause complaints from residents. The mayor is scheduled to meet with the railroad companies to discuss potential noise impacts. Rail officials say the facility will not be any louder due to the repair shop.

Charlestown, Rhode Island Town Council to Vote On Proposed Noise Ordinance Amendments That Would Raise Fines and Simplify Enforcement. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that the Charlestown, Rhode Island Town Council is considering amendments to the local noise ordinance. Fines and jail terms would be increased, and enforcement would be based on an officer's judgment.

Buffalo, New York Toughens Its Noise Ordinance. The Buffalo News reports that the city council of Buffalo, New York has passed an amended noise ordinance that toughens its previously vague nature.

Expansion of Metalworking Plant in Pittsfield, Maine Opposed By Residents On Basis of Noise. The Central Maine Morning Sentinel reports that residents near a metal-fabrication plant in Pittsfield, Maine are opposing expansions there. The local planning board approved the expansion, which includes noise-reduction plans, but residents note that past expansions have turned a quiet, small facility into a facility with 'uncontrolled noise.' The plant hopes to keep 20 new workers on through the winter now that the extension is approved.

August 15, 1999

California Laws Allow Renter to Walk Away from Lease If Noise From Neighbors Can Be Proven 'Intolerable'. The Los Angeles Times prints a question and answer column on real estate questions, and one question relates to noise. The question asks whether a tenant can break a lease and move out of a "really noisy" apartment without being liable for lost rent. Several experts agreed that while you may be able to move out safely if you can prove that the noise is "unbearable," it is best to consult with a lawyer first.

Community Board in New York City Pushes City to Add Audible Crosswalk Signals for Pedestrians: Especially the Visually Impaired. The New York Times reports that a community board in New York City is pushing for audible crosswalk signals to increase pedestrian safety. The Department of Transportation worries about noise complaints, but proponents say that automatic volume adjustment, or even silent signals heard only by those with special receivers, can eliminate noise issues.

Lake County, Illinois Considers Noise Limit of 70 Decibels for Special Events. The Chicago Tribune reports that Lake County, Illinois is considering a noise limit for special events under its "Unified Development Ordinance." County officials are considering a limit of six "special events of public interest", and a noise limitation of 70 decibels for those events.

Lightplane Operators Experience Substantial Noise, and Often Use Active Noise Reduction Earphones. Chief Executive reports that many lightplane pilots -- who are subjected to noise from a 250-horsepower engine -- use Active Noise Reduction (ANR) technology to give their ears a break.

Motorboat Noise Tests Offered in Columbus, Ohio to Prepare Boaters for New Noise Limits. The Columbus Dispatch reports that noise tests on Ohio lakes are being offered to boaters to test compliance with a new state noise law. The new law will limit a boat motor to 90 decibels at three feet and 75 decibels from the shore. Officers say most boaters are already in compliance.

August 16, 1999

Fort Mill, South Carolina Resident Complains About Noise from Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Herald reports that in Fort Mill, South Carolina a resident whose property line is 20 feet from a noise wastewater treatment plant is angry about the noise. The man offered U.S. Utilities Company $4000 to quiet the noise, but the company wasn't comfortable taking his money. Some work has been done to quiet the noise, but the resident says it's not enough.

Georgia Institute of Technology Researcher Develops "Quiet Curtain"; Noise Shielding Material and Fabric Can Reduce Noise By 12 Decibels. Design News reports that a Georgia Institute of Technology Researcher has developed a "quiet curtain" that can reduce noise by 12 decibels.

Insulation of Houses Around Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport -- Designed to Reduce Noise Levels -- Is Getting Expensive. The Star Tribune reports that now that noise mitigation funds at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota have been used to soundproof smaller homes nearest the airport, larger homes are next in line and will cost more to soundproof. Predictions estimate that the program may pay for work on 14,000 homes at a cost of about $435-million by the time it's completed.

Letter to the Editor in London, Reprinted from 1940s', Addresses Disturbing Qualities of Noise. The Times reprints a letter to the editor written by Sir Robert Armstrong-Jones (1857-1943), a London physician who often wrote to the paper first half of the 1900s. He was involved in finding new ways to treat those with mental diseases.

Noise from Queens Nightclub Draws Frequent Complaints from Nearby Residents. Newsday reports that a popular nightclub in Queens draws regular complaints from neighboring residents about loud music and voices from patrons that continue until 4 a.m. The article notes that a shooting in February outside the club made for bad publicity, but the club has been law-abiding with legal noise levels and precautions such as designated parking lots and soundproofing. One more criminal activity in connection with the club would allow the police to shut the club down, but they say they would rather see a decrease in noise complaints.

Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Suit Won Against General Electric, Who Failed to Monitor Employees' Noise Exposure. The Pennsylvania Law Weekly reports that a 21-year employee of General Electric received "hearing-loss benefits" after a court ruled that the company did not sufficiently prove that the worker was not subjected to excessively loud noise. The employee's exposure was tested only once, when his co-workers tests showed that they were exposed to over 90 decibels. OSHA prohibits a decibel level of over 90 decibels over an eight-hour work day.

Plymouth, United Kingdom Physician Says Loud Movies Should Include Health Warnings. The Evening Herald reports that according to a doctor in Plymouth, U.K., loud movies should include a health warning. Movies, trailers, and advertisements are getting louder, according to the British Standards Institution. In the U.K., employees must be warned of noise levels above 85 decibels, and hearing protection must be provided if the levels breach 90; three popular movies were mentioned that exceeded 100 decibels.

Property Values Near a Proposed Airport at the Former El Toro Marines Base Stay Strong Despite Predictions of Airport Critics. The Orange County Business Journal reports that property values near the former El Toro Marines Base -- and potential home of a commercial airport by 2005 -- have stayed strong despite the predictions of airport critics. The demand for the sometimes multi-million-dollar-homes is also an indication that people are willing to accept some airplane noise, or that the noise simply isn't all that intrusive." Critics of the airport claim that property values will only start to dip after people realize the extent of the noise impact from a 24-hour airport.

Traffic Policemen in India Subjected to Excessive Noise and Pollution. The Hindu reports that in India, traffic police are exposed to high levels of noise and pollution. Many suffer from respiratory problems, and 'auto-rickshaws' with altered mufflers can damage hearing. Despite the prevalence of health problems, many police do not attend free check-ups offered to them. "Goggles, masks against dust, and ear protection" are being proposed as mandatory equipment for traffic police

Troy, Ohio Council to Vote on Noise Walls Today; Though Originally Leaning Towards Rejecting the Walls, A Study on Noise-Related Health Risks May Shift Their Vote. The Dayton Daily News reports that the Troy, Ohio council will vote tonight on whether to approve 10-14-foot noise walls along Interstate 75. Consideration of noise-related health risks, coupled with a visit to one residence near the highway, may result in an approval for the walls. A "no" vote -- which was the original stance of the council -- would be referred to the top state transportation official because local sentiment favors the walls by over 90%

August 17, 1999

Camden, Maine Selectmen May Revise Noise Ordinance to Include Construction Noise. The Bangor Daily News reports that when selectmen were unsure of whether their noise ordinance could be interpreted to cover construction noise, they asked the town attorney to research the question.

Debate Rages Over Options for Second Airport in Sydney, Australia. The AAP Newsfeed reports that Canberra, Australia politicians are divided between several alternatives that would increase air capacity near Sydney. A new airport is proposed just west of Sydney, but some are opposed because of the dangers of potential noise and environmental pollution. A second option is to make improvements at a nearby Bankstown airport that could then take some of Sydney Airport's flights. A third option would install a very fast train (VFT) link to a distant airport, but most say that would be unfeasible.

Enfield, Connecticut Officials Oppose New Flight Paths for Bradley International Airport that Would Increase Flights Over Their Community. The Hartford Courant reports that after a test of alternative flight paths at Bradley International Airport, officials in Enfield, Connecticut say they oppose the paths that would send planes over Enfield.

FAA Says Minneapolis' Metropolitan Airports Commission Can Not Use Airport Revenue for Future Noise Mitigation Because Such Money Must Be Used for Actual Costs. The Star Tribune reports that the FAA has told Minneapolis, Minnesota's Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) that it can not use $30-million in airport revenue to mitigate noise because the expected work is not considered an "actual cost." The state legislature had designated the money in a law, and had thought it could fend off FAA disapproval "by including a provision that the MAC should not have to violate federal law or rules to comply with the state law."

Medical Chopper Recently Acquired By Police In Wauwatosa, Wisconsin May Be Parked Off Grounds. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a new police helicopter may not be based on nearby hospital grounds, where the sheriff had hoped. Residents surrounding Milwaukee Regional Medical Center are concerned about potential noise pollution. To use the airport, a $200,000 hangar would have to be built; the sheriff would prefer to use an existing, unused hangar at the hospital.

Noise From New Concrete Highway in Exeter, U.K. Bothers Residents; Officially, Noise Monitoring Won't Happen for One Year and Resurfacing Won't Happen for Twenty Years. The Express & Echo reports that over 100 people attended a public meeting in Exeter, U.K. to protest excessive noise levels from a new concrete highway. Residents want a thin, tarmac coating to quiet the road; pressure from residents resulted in road resurfacing elsewhere in the U.K. despite official policy.

Ogunquit, Maine Police Purchase Noise Meter. The Portland Press Herald reports that police officers in Ogunquit, Maine can now enforce their noise ordinance using a brand new sound meter. Exceeding limits of 72 decibels between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and 62 decibels otherwise can bring fines between $100 and $1000 per day.

Politician Up for Election in Florida Pledges to Prohibit Airports from Expanding in Ways that Violate Local Growth Plans. The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News prints a letter to the editor from a politician hoping to be elected as a Florida state representative. He cites his experience as an environmentalist and jet pilot, and pledges to prohibit state airports from expanding in ways that violate local comprehensive growth management plans. He specifically mentions Witham Field in Stuart Florida as having a problem with noise and pollution.

Porous Pavement -- Designed to Allow Better Drainage and Noise Reduction -- Tested in Vancouver. The Vancouver Sun prints a traffic-related column that discusses test patches of "whisper asphalt" on Vancouver's roads. The porous asphalt allows better drainage and reduces noise. The asphalt will not see wide-spread application for several years until potential problems have been examined more thoroughly.

Public Health Report Regarding Greymouth, New Zealand Helipad Says Noise and Fumes Are Unreasonable, Sets Requirements for Improvement. The Press reports that after Franz Josef, New Zealand's Westland District Council received a public health report requiring noise and fume mitigation at a local helipad, a special committee developed possible solutions. These could include limitation of total helicopters to 9, relocation of the pad farther from residences, limitations on flights before 7 am and after 9 pm, and mitigation of noise from "ground operations."

Troy, Ohio's Council Approves Noise Walls Along Interstate 75. The Dayton Daily News reports that Troy, Ohio's City council voted its support for proposed noise walls along Interstate 75, pleasing most of the 100 people in attendance. Opposition to the walls was based mainly on the fact that unmaintained walls can become an eyesore. A presentation which showed that "sustained exposure to loud noise often causes hearing loss, stress and other adverse health conditions" turned several council representatives from a 'no' to a 'yes' vote.

U.S. General Accounting Office Audits International Space Station Project; One Noted Cost Is Mitigation of Russian Equipment Noise to Protect Astronauts from Hearing Damage. The Federal Document Clearing House, Inc. prints a report from the U.S. General Accounting Office on the status of the International Space Station, including potentially damaging noise levels from Russian equipment. NASA and the Russian contractor are jointly working to reduce noise levels, but will fully implement the measures after the component is launched.

August 18, 1999

Airline Trade Association Writes Letter to the FAA Opposing Tests of Alternative Flight Paths at Los Angeles International Airport; El Segundo, California Mayor Furious. The City News Service reports that a letter sent by the Air Transport Association (ATA) to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) opposing tests of alternate flight paths at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has infuriated officials in El Segundo, California. The ATA says that there will be more delays, and noise will only shift from one community to another. El Segundo officials say that the ATA is ignoring the noise problems of residents under the current flight paths.

China May Make Top Executives Responsible for Noise Pollution Caused By Their Companies. The South China Morning Post reports that a proposed amendment to the Noise Control Ordinance in China would make executives eligible for prosecution in cases where there companies have caused noise pollution.

Colorado Springs Airport to Encourage Pilots to Depart Northward More Often, Spreading Noise Pollution More Evenly. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that Colorado Springs Airport is encouraging pilots to take off the North more often. Currently, pilots use the southern departure 70% of the time. Airport officials want a more even distribution of noise, but residents in the North are upset. Officials say that a designated flight path -- as suggested by a recent study -- would take noise away from residential areas.

Environmentalists and Air Tour Operators Clash at a Flagstaff, Arizona Public Hearing on Whether to Freeze the Number of Flights Over the Grand Canyon National Park. The Arizona Republic reports that environmentalists and air tour operators presented differing opinions at a public hearing in Flagstaff, Arizona that focused on a proposed freeze on the number of flights allowed over Grand Canyon National Park. Air tour operators say the current no-fly zones and the proposed freeze would put them out of business, and that the majority of tourists don't mind the noise. Environmentalists say that boaters and hikers enjoy natural quiet only 19% of the time, and only 10% of the river is covered by no-fly zones.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas Nightclub Sued by Six Song Publishers After Playing their Songs Without Permission; Nightclub Owners Started Playing More Recorded Music After a New Noise Ordinance Restricted their Live Music. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that a nightclub in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is being sued by six song publishers after it allegedly played copyrighted songs without permission. The nightclub owners were restricted on how loud their live music could be after a noise ordinance was recently upheld, and it appears that their cavalier attitude over recorded music copyrights may have led them to fill the live-music void with illegally-played recordings.

Hammond, Louisiana Allocates Funds for Training of Police on Proper Use of Noise Monitors; Council Also Proposes New Liquor-License Renewal Process that Will Aid Enforcement of Noise Laws. The Advocate reports that Hammond, Louisiana's City Council has approved $1,000 towards the training of police officers in the proper use of a $15,000 noise-monitoring device. The current decibel limit is 85 as measured 25-feet from the source, but lack of training has meant that the device has not been used. A proposed change in the liquor-license renewal process could also help officials enforce noise laws that proprietors often ignore.

Neighbors of New Exeter Highway Want Road Resurfaced Because of Noise. The Western Morning News reports that neighbors of a brand-new Exeter, UK highway have already formed a pressure group to push for the resurfacing of the noisy road. The construction manager of the Highways Agency said he was there to listen to the public, as he had throughout the planning process, but he had no solutions. The pressure group is hopeful that it can get the road resurfaced since it has happened on new roads elsewhere in the country.

New Power Plant Finally Completed in Dighton, Rhode Island; Noise Complaints Should Fade. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that a power plant in Dighton Rhode Island, which was causing noise complaints from equipment testing, is completed. Local officials say that plant staff were very cooperative when it came to the noise problems. One official said, "They never wanted any noise...."

Official Celebration of Millenium in Bath, UK Must Not be Disruptive After 2 AM, Says Council. The Bath Chronicle reports that the Bath, UK Council has demanded that the Millennium Ball not be the source of disruptive noise after 2 am. A noise consultant has said that to comply with the 2 am disruption limit, "patrons will be likely to express some dissatisfaction with both the level and character of the dance music."

Street Dances at a Bangor, Maine Nightclub Draw Noise Complaints; City Decides to Work with Establishment Before Instituting a Noise Ordinance. The Bangor Daily News reports that when street dances at a nightclub in Bangor, Maine drew noise complaints, the city decided to work with the establishment instead of instituting a noise ordinance. Residents complained of music and swearing that could be heard from the live band until 12:30 am. One owner said "get a decibel level you're happy with, and we will try to keep noise within that."

August 19, 1999

Air Cargo Operator to Double Flights Into Sacramento, California's Mather Airport on a Trial Basis. The Sacramento Bee reports that an air cargo operator has crafted a deal to add 12 flights into Sacramento, California's Mather Airport on a trial basis. The company wants to use Mather to handle a new $264 million contract with the U.S. Postal Service that involves routing packages to thirteen major cities on the West coast. There have already been noise complaints from communities under the incoming flight path at Mather, and they are likely to get worse with the increasing number of flights. The FAA is planning to propose a new landing approach to lessen noise complaints.

California's Burbank Airport to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed New Terminal. The Los Angeles Times reports that Burbank, California officials are holding a public meeting tonight on the proposed new terminal at Burbank Airport. The 14-gate terminal will close between 11 PM and 6 AM, and expansion will not be allowed unless a night curfew is implemented. The new 330,000-square-foot terminal would replace the current 60-year-old one. Older, noisier Stage II aircraft will be phased out completely over the next five years.

Connecticut's Bradley International Airport Confirms that FAA's Flight Path Directs Too Many Flights Over Nearby Enfield; Alternatives Include Earlier Turns. The Hartford Courant reports that Bradley International Airport has confirmed that having planes turn after a relatively straight first four miles takes too many planes over nearby Enfield. Enfield officials were worried when the early summer tests increased aircraft noise substantially in their community but airport officials assured them today that the flight path shift will not be permanently adopted. The airport's noise consultant said that it knew four miles was too long, but the tests proved this to the skeptical FAA, which will probably now allow the turning point to be placed before the 4-mile point.

Delafield, Wisconsin Shooting Club Draws Complaints from Residents, but Appears to Be In Compliance with Local Laws. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel residents of Delafield, Wisconsin are upset by noise from a shooting club, while owners and local officials say they by noise restrictions. The Town Board is being criticized as ineffectual, but they no longer have any jurisdiction in the matter since the city annexed the club two years ago. Nevertheless, town officials have asked the new city administrator to look into the matter when he takes his post next week.

Fine Dropped After Daphne, Alabama Church Takes Steps to Quiet Services; City Removes Allegedly Unconstitutional Exemptions from the Noise Ordinance. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that a fine imposed on a noisy Daphne, Alabama church was dropped after the church took steps to quiet their services. The church challenged the ordinance that justified the fine, and the city has since agreed to amend the ordinance by removing exemptions to excessive noise; the church had claimed that the exemptions were unconstitutional.

Orange County, California Supervisor and Laguna Hills Councilman Debate Whether El Toro Air Base Should Be Converted into a Commercial Airport or Residential Areas with Parks and a Research Facilities. The Orange County Register reports that 150 people turned out to hear an Orange County, California supervisor debate a Laguna Hills councilman over the best use for the former El Toro Air Base. Cynthia Coad -- the supervisor -- believes that a commercial airport should be located at El Toro. Allan Songstad -- the councilman -- "argued for the Millennium Plan, which calls for a large central park, up to 6,000 homes, a sports stadium, a university and high-tech research and development." Coad claims that John Wayne Airport would expand without the new airport, but Songstad said no additional air traffic capacity is needed.

Park Service Employs Panel of Acoustics Experts to Recommend Best Places to Collect Noise Data in Grand Canyon National Park. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that the Park Service and the FAA has asked a panel of eight acoustics experts to review plans for collecting noise data in Grand Canyon National Park, intending to head off potential critics concerning the accuracy of the $800,000 study. The data will help to determine changes to flight paths designed to reach the goal of making 50% of the park quiet 75% of the time.

Pierrefonds, Montreal Landfill Site Monitored by City Committee to Address Citizen Complaints. The Gazette reports that the community of Pierrefonds in Montreal, Canada has set up a committee to monitor a landfill facility. Citizens had complained, and the committee is there to serve as a go between. The landfill is used by a private company to dump construction debris, and the owner has been patient, "despite the lengthy delays and initial residents' mistrust of his operation." Two years ago, the project was almost rejected, but with stricter environmental restrictions were approved and changes in the board, the project was approved.

Providence, Rhode Island Town Council to Amend Nuisance Ordinance so Owners of Barking Dogs Must Quiet their Pets or Lose Them. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Providence, Rhode Island's Town Council plans to amend their nuisance ordinance to quiet barking dogs. Instead of the current system of impounding dogs and then freeing them after payment of a small fine -- which does not necessarily solve the noise problem -- the new system will require owners to propose a strategy for quieting their dogs before they can reclaim them.

Residents of Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom are Petitioning to Have Loud Thrill Ride Closed. The Sentinel reports that a thrill ride at a park in Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom is too loud for most neighbors, who are starting a petition to have it closed. The local council is requiring the systematic quieting of the noise, and the park is only allowed to run the ride for ten minutes out of every hour and only before 7 PM.

Santa Fe Councilors Plan to Target Loud Car Stereos First in their Fight Against Noise. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Santa Fe, New Mexico Councilors are planning to target loud car stereos as the first step in reducing noise pollution. Currently, $40 tickets are issued several times a week for loud car stereos, but the ordinance invoked is a broad one. The council does not want to unfairly target loud music, unless it is of a "neighborhood-disturbing, baby-waking, window-rattling" intensity. Research into ordinances from other communities should result in a draft in about a month.

August 20, 1999

86% of United States' Commercial Jets are Stage 3 Compliant Already; FAA Expects Full Compliance by January 1, 2000 Deadline. Air Transport Intelligence reports that 86% of the United States' commercial jets are now Stage 3 compliant, and it appears that 100% will be compliant by January 1, 2000. The tougher noise requirements, apply to all non-military aircraft weighing over 75,000 pounds: 7,538 aircraft in all.

Active Noise Control Technologies that Could Reduce Traffic Noise Under Development at Japanese Universities. The Daily Yomiuri reports that Japanese universities are developing active noise control (ANC) technologies that could reduce traffic noise not blocked by traditional highway walls. ANC -- which "instantly measures traffic sounds and blares out soundwaves whose peaks and troughs cancel out the peaks and troughs of traffic" -- could be more effective than the traditional solution: adding height to the walls. A second technology consists of ducts that produce waves that counteract common traffic wavelengths without the use of electricity.

Airlines at St. Louis' Lambert Field Airport Will Meet January 1, 1999 Deadline for Full Stage-Three Compliance. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that airlines at Lambert Field in St. Louis expect engine noise on all aircraft to meet quieter stage-three requirements by January 1, 1999. St. Louis-based TWA was well behind that deadline at 75%. TWA is now acquiring a new aircraft every ten days, and will go from being the oldest fleet in the nation to the youngest by 2004. Anti-noise activists claim that stage-three aircraft will not necessarily be quieter

Calgary, Canada Company Creates Noise Reduction Materials for Industry From Steel Instead of Traditional Concrete. The Calgary Herald reports on a Calgary company called ATCO Noise Management Ltd. that helps industry quiet its operations. Their steel-based products are catching on in Europe and elsewhere around the world, where they have developed 25 types of "industrial noise -reduction materials used in the construction of various buildings," and have "virtually corner[ed] the market for "turn-key" companies that do all three aspects of noise reduction -- from engineering to supplying materials, on-site construction and field testing."

FAA Says It Will Conduct Independent Environmental Review at Orange County, California's El Toro Marine Base; Residents Approve of Non-Political Environmental Review, but Aren't Holding Their Breath. The Los Angeles Times reports that according to its head, the FAA will conduct its own Environmental Review of a proposed commercial airport at Orange County, California's El Toro Marine Base. Environmental studies now being conducted by the Navy and the County are seen by residents as being politically motivated, and the promised scope of the FAA study was welcomed by them. But although residents welcome an independent review, they are not convinced that the FAA will necessarily follow through on their leader's promises.

Former Horse Track in Cicero, Illinois Converted into Chicago Motor Speedway; Residents Worry About the Noise. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a 67,000 seat racetrack in Cicero, Illinois -- formerly used only for horse races -- will soon be the home of Chicago Motor Speedway. Residents are worried about increased traffic and noise. Officials emphasized that because of $50 million in improvements to the track, the community will receive more property taxes.

Fort Kent Planning Board to Decide If Shooting Range is Approved in the Face of Resident Concerns. The Bangor Daily News reports that many residents of Fort Kent, Maine are concerned about noise and pollution from a proposed shooting range. Resident concerns include lowered property values, lead pollution from shotgun pellets, noise, and impact on wildlife. The owners of the property have measured the noise levels from gunfire and say that it is comparable to soft music, but residents say that independent consultants should take the measurements.

Green Valley, Illinois Gas-to-Energy Plant Still Trying to Lower the Noise it Produces to Reduce Neighbors' Irritation. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that a gas-to-energy plant in Greene Valley, Illinois is still trying to reduce its noise levels. Complaints caused the owner to install a series of three mufflers, which have not substantially reduced the noise. Additional studies will be conducted to determine if noise levels could be reduced without additional mufflers or a wholesale redesign of the facility. Additional costs will not be the responsibility of the plant operator since local noise standards are already met.

Major US Airlines 86% Compliant with New Noise Standards. The Associated Press reports that 86% of US commercial jets are now Stage 3 compliant, in accordance with a 1990 congressional law that requires compliance with the tougher noise standards by January 1, 2000. Stage 3 planes are 5 times quieter than the older, Stage 2 airplanes

Major US Airlines Poised to Comply With January 1, 2000 Noise Standards; See How Well They're Doing. The Boston Globe reports that major U.S. airlines have spent $100 billion to comply with quieter Stage 3 engine requirements by January 1, 2000, and appear to be positioned to do just that. Major carriers are in good shape, but smaller carriers have approached the FAA, asking that they be allowed to fly with some Stage 2 aircraft after the deadline. Not all airlines are at the same point in converting their fleets. Though residents say the efforts are "admirable," they say that the difference for airport neighbors is negligible.

National Park Service Plans to Ban Cars from Grand Canyon National Park by 2003. USA Today reports that the National Park Service plans to ban personal vehicles from Grand Canyon National Park by 2003. Their plans also include restricting air-tour flights over the park, and strive to meet a goal of having at least 50% of the park dominated by natural sounds by 2008. As alternatives, they plan to develop a light-rail system and bus service that bring tourists from parking lots outside of the park. Also, they are planning an ecologically-conscious commercial development on the edge of the park that will recycle, conserve energy, and import water; currently, the high demand for the park's available groundwater is being taxed by more and more hotels and increasing suburban sprawl in nearby Tusayan.

Postal Service Moves Western Hub from Oakland, California to Sacramento's Mather Airport After Reno -- the Service's First Choice -- Raises Objections Over Noise. The Sacramento Business Journal reports that the U.S. Postal Service has moved its West Coast hub from Oakland, California to Sacramento's Mather Airport. Oakland no longer wants the hub, and after Reno said it was worried about noise, the Postal Service (USPS) settled on Mather, although residents have been complaining about cargo plane noise there. 11 flights will go in and out of the airport each week for the USPS starting August 28, increasing traffic there by half.

Santa Fe, New Mexico City Council Considers Changes to Current, Vague Noise Ordinance. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Santa Fe plans to revise its noise laws. Currently, users of loud car stereos -- which are the main target of the ordinance alterations -- are ticketed only occasionally with a fine of $40. The Council is asking other cities what they've done, and are thus considering the prohibition of "music that can be heard 50 feet and more from the vehicle emitting it", or use of decibel meters.

August 23, 1999

Communications Company, Which Uses Small Neighborhood Power-Plants As Backup Power Supplies, Working with Residents and Municipalities to Place Plants Appropriately. Multichannel News reports that a communications company in Orange County, California is slowing its deployment of telephone backup power supplies because of concerns over aesthetics, noise and safety. Natural gas powered systems are relatively loud, though the company has switched to smaller generators that produce less noise. Landscaping techniques are being looked into to protect aesthetics, and safety issues have been addressed through automatic shut-off systems.

Endangered Florida Manatees May Be Injured By Boats In Part Because They Can't Hear Low-Frequency Sounds; Some Want a High-Frequency Alarm, Others Say Harassing Animals Is No Way to Save Them. The Orlando Sentinel reports that when protected manatees of Florida are killed by boat propellers, the reason may be that the manatees can't hear the boats. Some want to add high-frequency alarms to boat motors to warn manatees, but others say that the noise may do more harm than good by continually harassing the animals.

Letters to the Editor From Oxnard, California Say Expansion at Oxnard Airport Is a Bad Idea. The Ventura County Star prints several letters to the editor on the subject of noise from Oxnard Airport near South Fremont, California. One letter worries about safety at the airport, and says that no expansion should be allowed for this reason. Another letter states that expansion is "in direct conflict with the joint powers agreement and at the expense of the homeowners and residents in the area of the airport." A third letter says that another regional airport -- Camarillo -- should be considered as an option for handling increasing air traffic.

Milk Depot In Keith, U.K. Will Be Granted Permanent Consent For Their Building, Now That Noise Levels Have Been Reduced As Requested in 1997. The Aberdeen Press and Journal reports that a milk depot in Keith, United Kingdom will be issued permanent consent for their development after two years of conflicts with the city council about noise levels. The depot has impressed council members with their noise mitigation efforts, and no further noise complaints have been issued.

New Orleans Noise Walls to Include Artistic Images of Local Plants. The Times-Picayune reports that a noise wall design committee in New Orleans, Louisiana chose a design for a 10- to 24-foot noise wall that will line parts of a ten mile stretch of Interstate 10. The design includes local plants, and its choice was part of a $100,000 wall design process. The walls will go up in an area where residents are exposed to 180,000 vehicles each day and noise averages as high as 75 decibels.

North Laurel, Maryland Gas Station Owner Asks County Board of Appeals to Allow 24-Hour Operation; Some Citizens Object. The Baltimore Sun Company reports that a gas station operator in North Laurel, Maryland wants to keep his business open 24 hours each day. A petition showed local support, but the local civic association claims that residents would be adversely affected by the new hours. The business owner says "None of the four people who testified [against the new hours] can say they have the official capacity to represent the people who live next to the gas station," who have complained less since the owner planted fifteen-foot trees to block light and noise.

Residents of Lyons Park, Oklahoma Want Wall Between Highway and Elementary School; Purpose Would Be to Quiet Noise and Also Increase Safety of Students. The Daily Oklahoman reports that residents of Lyons Park, Oklahoma want a wall on Interstate 44. They want noise to be abated, but many are more concerned with the proximity of an elementary school playground to a dangerous section of the highway. At least three accidents have occurred in the last year during school hours. A wall was promised to residents in 1970 when the highway was first built.

Residents of North Smithfield, Rhode Island Oppose Proposed Power Plant, Citing Potential Noise, Traffic, and Pollution Problems. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that residents of North Smithfield, Rhode Island are opposing a 350-Megawatt power plant based on their fears of increased noise, traffic, and pollution. Residents have been very involved: more than ever in the community's history. The power plant, which has held one informational meeting and plans to hold more, believes that once they hear the facts, residents won't fear the plant anymore.

Warwick, Rhode Island Noise Ordinance to Be Retooled to Confront Loud Car Stereos. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that officials in Warwick, Rhode Island are hoping to revise the local noise ordinance to address noise emanating from loud car stereos. The new ordinance would allow police to ticket motorists for loud car stereos based on judgment.

Wellington, New Zealand Tourism Officer Pushes Review of Restrictions that Limit Number of Loud Shows at Westpac Trust Stadium; Famous Act Could Sell Out Two More Shows If Permitted. The Dominion reports that there is a push for review of restrictions that limit the number of loud shows at a local stadium, since a performer already scheduled for three nights could likely sell out two more shows if permitted. The tourism officer blames a few vocal residents for the limits, but a neighborhood resident said that residents simply accepted an offer from the stadium. There is always the chance that the performer will not exceed the decibel limit.

August 25, 1999

Chicago Motor Speedway Draws Noise Warning for First Race. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that the Chicago Motor Speedway's first race was twice as loud as normal traffic, and warranted a warning ticket from the County. Track officials don't believe they're violating any laws, but plan to meet with county representative next week.

Construction at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Causes Too Much Noise; Cardiac Patients Were Given Only Earplugs, and Staff Were Subjected to the Noise Unprotected. The Aberdeen Press and Journal reports that construction at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary has been stopped until a way can be found that reduces the noise that cardiac patients and staff have to endure. The only option proposed is moving the cardiac patients away from the noise but they must somehow remain close to cardiac equipment that is difficult to move.

Flight Delays at Chicago's O'Hare Airport Cause More Nighttime Takeoffs that Disturb Residents. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that a 98% increase in flight delays at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in recent months has pushed 22 more flights after 10 PM each night. The 98% increase in delays comes after less than 1% growth in air traffic, suggesting that the problems are not with strained capacity. Noise complaints are down, and noise monitors are reading lower, but activists still say that planes aren't using designated quieter nighttime runways enough.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Can't Back Bonds for Noise Reduction Efforts with Airport Revenue Because Revenue May Only Be Used for "Actual Costs". The Bond Buyer reports on several issues related to bonds, including an issue with bonds sought by the Minnesota Metropolitan Airports Commission. They want to back bonds -- to be used for noise reduction efforts -- with airport revenue. The FAA said that they can't, since the efforts represent "projected impact" and not "actual costs."

Warwick, Rhode Island Residents Look for Ways to Sell Their Homes to Escape Increasing Noise from T.F. Green Airport. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that residents of Warwick, Rhode Island want to leave behind the increasing noise from T.F. Green Airport. The opening of a new terminal in 1996 attracted larger, louder jets. One option, which in one recent case brought more than double the market value of houses to the sellers, is to have a realtor market an entire neighborhood for sale. Another is to hope that the airport gets a grant to buy individual houses. Those who have already soundproofed their houses with federal money may be lower priority for buyouts.

August 26, 1999

Blainville, Canada Resident Petitions for Right to File Suit Against Montreal's Metropolitan Transport Agency Over Loud, High-Speed Trains; Two Other Communities Destined to Have Similar Trains Watch with Interest. The Gazette reports that a Blainville, Canada resident will attempt to file a class-action suit for $30,000 against the Metropolitan Transport Agency (MTA), as officials of nearby of nearby communities follow the case in hopes of learning what they can do if similar noise problems develop for their new rail lines. The communities are planning a public meeting that will inform residents of available recourse before the train lines are even installed.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina Country Club Must Quiet Fans that Were Formerly Exempted by City's Noise Ordinance. The Chapel Hill Herald prints an editorial that comes out strongly in favor of a new noise ordinance that removes exemptions for agricultural equipment. The revisions were made to force the Chapel Hill Country Club to quiet its green-aerating fans that cause 70 decibels of noise at neighbors property lines. Now that the fans will no longer be exempt, they must remain quieter than 60 decibels during the day and 50 decibels at night.

Debate in Anaheim Hills, California Over Proposed Commercial Airport at Former El Toro Military Base; Residents Know Noise Won't Affect Them, But Fear Problems with Housing and Economics. The Orange County Register reports that at a recent debate over a proposed new airport at the former El Toro Military Base, many Anaheim Hills, California residents shared fears of "increased pollution, proliferation of 'slum' neighborhoods that commonly surround airports, and a more "transportation-business-oriented community." They didn't worry much about noise problems, which airport proponents say wouldn't effect the community in the first place.

Hamilton, New Zealand Manufacturer is Told that Its Power Plant Is Too Loud. The Waikato Times reports that a power plant located on a manufacturer's property in Hamilton, New Zealand is disturbing residents. The company has 6 weeks to lessen the noise to 42 decibels at the property line.

Ireland's Minister for Public Enterprise Tells Legislators She Hopes European Union Aircraft Noise Rule Will Be Amended; Her Spokesperson Says Ireland Neither Supports Nor Opposes the Rule. The Irish Times reports that Ireland's Minister of Enterprise told legislators that she hoped for " an alteration to the European Union (EU) aircraft noise directive." Her official position says Ireland neither "champions nor opposes" the rule. According to statements after the fact, she meant to say that she hoped talks between the U.S. and the E.U. are progressing well. She has met with other EU officials to emphasize the plight of Irish businessmen who may lose money under the rule which bans the use of hush-kits on louder airplanes.

Keith, U.K. Dairy Granted Temporary Consent to Continue Operation After Councillors Say Noise is Still Questionable; No Official Complaints Have Been Received. The Aberdeen Press and Journal reports that a dairy in Keith, United Kingdom has been granted only temporary consent to continue its operation on grounds of noise pollution, although no official complaints have been filed. Disruptions to residents have included the unloading of big trucks as late as 2:30 a.m. and fowl language.

Motorcyclists Riding Over 50 MPH May Experience Hearing Damage After Two Hours, Even With a Helmet. The Los Angeles Times reports that motorcyclists can damage their hearing, if they ride over 50 MPH on a regular basis, simply from wind noise. At 65 MPH, two hours of riding can cause permanent damage; at 80 MPH, one hour can cause damage. A study conducted in the early 1990s in Britain showed hearing loss in 250 motorcyclists who rode regularly for at least five years with helmets but without earplugs.

New Noise Ordinance in Montgomery, Illinois Open for Public Comment. The Chicago Tribune reports that a proposed noise ordinance in Montgomery, Illinois will have a three-week public comment period. Fines under the ordinance range from $50 to $500. The daytime permitted noise level is 60 decibels, and the nighttime level is 55 decibels. There are several exemptions.

Public Meeting Over Proposed Stadium in Darlington, United Kingdom, Draws Hundreds of Protesters with a 2,000-Name Petition Opposing the Project; Residents Worry About Noise, Traffic, and Violence. The Northern Echo reports that Darlington, U.K. residents turned out at a public meeting in force to protest a proposed 25,000-seat football stadium. Residents presented a 2,000 name petition against the stadium, and challenged developers to explain how they would avoid potential noise, traffic, and violence problems "from rival fans."

Put-In-Bay, Ohio Create Noise Ordinance to Reduce Volume Competition Between Bars Meant to Attract Customers. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that Put-In-Bay, Ohio has created a noise ordinance to crack down on bars which compete with each other by turning up their music. Police will now fine those who exceed 95 decibels on weekends and holidays $100.

Realtor in Hendersonville, North Carolina Will Settle with Two Couples Who Were Not Informed of Noise from Airport When They Bought Their Homes. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that a realtor in Hendersonville, North Carolina will lose her license for sixty days for failing to inform a couple that they were going to be living in the approach path of Asheville Regional Airport (ARA). The realtor claims she didn't know about "any significant air traffic over the Heatherwood subdivision." The state Real Estate commission judged that air traffic from ARA since it is "sufficiently important that an ordinary person would want to know" about it.

Residents of Panther Woods, Florida Split Over New Link to Interstate. The Press Journal reports that Panther Woods, Florida residents are split over whether to support a new $24-million link to the Interstate and the Florida Turnpike. Many residents say the link will be more convenient and will help development. Others say that noise will increase substantially.

St. Stephen, South Carolina Begins Enforcing Its Laws to Fine Cars with Excessively Loud Stereos or Darkly-Tinted Windows. The Post and Courier reports that St. Stephen, South Carolina officials have begun more aggressive enforcement of several local laws. Now, you can be fined $348 for noise that can be heard over 50 feet away, or $360 for darkly-tinted rear windows on your car that could obstruct the view of police.

Town of Peace Dale, Rhode Island Approves Money for Noise Monitoring at Construction Company. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that the town of Peace Dale, Rhode Island has approved money for the purchase of sound equipment after recent noise complaints against two local construction companies intensified. The company claims it has made "huge efforts" to lessen noise and dust, but reports of loud noise from 2 am to 6 am say otherwise.

Two Letters to the Editor Criticize Chicago's New Motor Speedway for Exceeding Noise Standards. The Chicago Sun-Times prints several letters to the editor including two that criticize the new Chicago Motor Speedway for exceeding noise standards. The first letter is bitingly concise. The second -- from an attendee of the first race -- says the track should have done more research to prevent the problem in the first place.

August 27, 1999

Craig Airport in Arlington, Florida Performing Noise Abatement and Cost/Benefit Studies to Evaluate Proposed New Runway Extension; Residents Wary of Possible Increase in Noise and Safety Issues. The Business Journal-Jacksonville reports that Craig Airport in Arlington, Florida is performing a $50,000, three-month noise abatement study, along with a cost/benefit analysis, to determine if a runway extension would be possible. Airport officials say they want to allow the airport to relieve nearby Jacksonville International Airport of more non-commercial air traffic. Residents fear that larger, commercial aircraft would use the airport, but airport officials say that they would seek an airport ban on commercial passenger aircraft at the airport.

Grape Farmers in Ontario Use Many Noise-Based Technologies to Keep Bird from Eating their Crops; Loud "Bird-Bangers" Can Annoy Human Neighbors as Well. The Ottawa Citizen reports that grape farmers in Ontario use many noise-based technologies to scare birds away from their grapes. Gas-powered cannons called 'bird bangers' are the loudest, and many complaints about them come from nearby residents. If the cannons go off too often or are too close to neighbors, officials may suggest changes, but "farmers are allowed to use all methods 'within reason' to protect their crop."

High-Rise Condo Tenants in Chicago Sue Upstairs Neighbor -- Who Happens to Be a Judge -- Over 'Excessive' Noise. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a couple living in a high-rise condo in Chicago where units sell for $500,000 has sued their upstairs neighbor -- who is a judge -- for producing excessive noise. The building manager did a questionable "study" and determined that most noise comes through the walls, not the granite floor. The couple is demanding that the judge stop making certain noises, insulate his floor, and pay them $50,000 in damages and legal costs. The judge says he has had the floor for ten years without incident.

Jerusalem Experienced Increased Complaints About Loud Air Conditioners During This Hot Summer. The Jerusalem Post prints several news items centering on the Jerusalem region, including one one noise. This summer there was a 100% increase in complaints over loud air conditioners in Ra'anana, Israel. Offenders can be charged NIS 100 for officials that measure the noise. They are usually cooperative in relocating or quieting their air-conditioners.

Judge Will Rule on Adams County's Suit Against "Noisy" Denver International Airport in About a Month. The Denver Rocky Mountain News reports that testimony is over in a suit that claims Denver owes Adams County $6.5 million for 13 noise violations. A $500,000-per-violation penalty was set in an agreement between Denver and the County that allowed Denver to annex land for its airport. Denver claims no one was adversely affected, but the County says any violations were assumed to cause damages under the agreement even without proof of damages.

Letter to the Editor in Dorval, Canada -- Near Montreal -- Says Noise Pollution Since Runway Closure Is Intolerable. The Gazette prints a letter to the editor from a resident of Dorval, Canada near Montreal. The author says that he was stonewalled when he tried to obtain information on the number of operations at Dorval Airport. After failing to obtain official data, he made assumptions and calculated intolerable numbers of flights that pass over Dorval now that a key runway has been closed.

Navy Flights at Oceana Air Force Base Near Virginia Beach to Increase in September; Base Commander Seems Attentive to Noise Concerns. The Virginian-Pilot reports that flights at Oceana Air Base in Virginia Beach will be increasing from 40 operations per day to 60 during the first 2.5 weeks in September because seven squadrons of pilots need to become certified before being sent overseas. The new base commander seems attentive to noise concerns, and hopes to make use of steeper descents, different runway usage, and different turning patterns on takeoff to ensure that aircraft are as high as possible when they pass over residential communities.

North Carolina Airboat Operator Draws Resident Complaints Over Noise; County Commissioners Say They Can Only Regulate Noise When It Is Part of a Safety Hazard. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that County Commissioners were asked by several residents in Arden, North Carolina to curb the noise made by an airboat operator on the French Broad River. After some responsibility-passing between the County Commissioners and the state Wildlife Commission, the County Commission has said it will hear public comments at its next area meeting, and will attempt to negotiate a compromise.

Roofing Firm in Bristol, U.K. Has Six Months to Move Out After Noise Complaints from Residents; Business Argues They Are Not Too Loud, and Their Replacement Could Be Louder. The Bristol Evening Post reports that a roofing company in south Bristol, United Kingdom has generated enough noise complaints that the local council has given them six months to leave their premises. Owners of the business deny that they are too loud, cite 10 years of harmony with neighbors before this, and say that their replacement could be even louder.

Roselle, Illinois Residents Are Offered a Meeting with an FAA Representative by Schaumburg Regional Airport Officials Who are Tired of Responding to Repeated, Similar Complaints. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that after repeated, similar complaints from residents the Schaumburg Regional Airport Advisory Commission has offered to invite an FAA official to a future meeting. One official said it would do no good, and that even the FAA would not change airport regulations. Residents, who maintain that the ten-year-old airport has gotten louder since 1995, were excited by the prospect

Some Utah Residents Push for Removal of Sound Wall that Blocks Their View, Sunlight, and Actually Increases Noise for Some Residents. The Deseret News reports that Utah's Transportation Commission is considering the removal of sound walls constructed along Interstate 215. 17 homeowners are already planning to sue for lost sunlight and views. A survey will be conducted of those who experience at least 65 decibels of highway noise in the Salt Lake City area to determine whether there is overwhelming support -- more than a majority -- for tearing down the walls

Trial Over; Judge to Rule Later on Denver International Airport's Responsibility to Pay Damages for Exceeding Its Own Noise Standards. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that a four-day trial -- regarding the responsibility of Denver International Airport (DIA) to pay damages for exceeding its own noise standards in Adams County, Colorado -- is over. The lawsuit, brought by Adams County, is for $6.5-million and alleges that DIA broke its own noise standards 13 times. Denver says that "no one was harmed by the noise."

Westerville, Ohio to Fine Columbus Amphitheater for Violating its Noise Ordinance Across Community Borders. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Westerville, Ohio plans to enforce its soon-to-be-revised noise ordinance across community borders in an attempt to quiet a Columbus amphitheater. Columbus has agreed to allow Westerville to enforce its ordinance across community lines because it will be easier to prove a violation of Westerville's noise ordinance. The penalty of $5,000 per violation would probably not cause the amphitheater to alter its noise output, but repeated violations would allow a judge to shut the venue down.

August 28, 1999

Jaffrey, New Hampshire Police Begin Enforcement of Noise Ordinance. The Union Leader reports that after loud car stereos caused noise problems outside quiet memorial day services this year, police in Jaffrey, New Hampshire decided to begin enforcing their noise ordinance. The ordinance also covers barking dogs, and loud motorcycles. Fines are $100.

Letter to the Editor from Medical Helicopter Pilot Expressing Disdain for Those Who Accept Noise from Traffic and Fireworks but Complain About Medical Helicopters. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette prints a letter to the editor that criticizes those who accept city noise and fireworks while complaining about medical helicopters.

Letters to the Editor Divided Over Recent Public Meeting in Escondido, California Where a Marine Corps Official Explained Reasons for Helicopter Noise Over the Community. The San Diego Union-Tribune prints several letters to the editor regarding a recent Escondido, California meeting about helicopter noise from Miramar Marines Base. Some criticized complainers and said the military is necessary and quiet enough. Others criticized meeting-goers who booed military officials. Others criticized military officials for 'burning time' allotted for public questions and for 'smugly' sitting together while many elderly people stood throughout the meeting.

St. Petersburg, Florida Police Step-Up Enforcement of Existing Noise Ordinance. The Tampa Tribune reports that St. Petersburg, Florida police have stepped up enforcement of their noise ordinance. $43 tickets are issued after the first warning for noise that is plainly audible at 100 feet away.

Town Council Gives Preliminary Approval to Noise Ordinance Amendment that Prohibits Agricultural Equipment from Running Continuously; Amendment Targets Golf Course Fans that Disturb a Neighbor. The Chapel Hill Herald reports that the Chapel Hill, North Carolina Town Council has given preliminary approval to a noise ordinance amendment that will prohibit the constantly-running fans at the local country club. The fans are needed to keep cool air moving around greens so the grass won't die, but a resident living nearby said the noise is invasive no matter what the level.

Use of Mediation in Neighbour Disputes Growing in United Kingdom. The Independent reports an article that discusses disputes between neighbours in the United Kingdom. In the U.K., approximately 90 percent of neighbor conflicts result form personality differences; one owner's enemy could be the next owner's friend.

Virginia Beach Tries to Improve Tourism Image By Addressing Nuisance Behavior that Intimidates Families. The Virginian-Pilot reports that Virginia Beach is trying to alter its image by reducing nuisance behaviors that intimidate families. Although noise violations are down 14% from last year, nuisance behavior still dominates violations in the area. Kids and adults are quoted as saying that truly offensive nuisances -- those that aren't just caused by people's stereotypes based on race or clothing -- do not follow lines of race, age, or fashion. Police have taken new measures to reduce nuisance behavior.

August 29, 1999

250 Residents Attend First In Series of Protests to Resurface a Concrete Exeter, U.K. Highway with Quieter Asphalt. The Express & Echo reports that 250 residents attended the first in a series of planned protests over a noisy Exeter, U.K. highway. Concrete was selected because it lasts long but, it is much noisier than asphalt. Residents want the road resurfaced now, and say that if officials do nothing, they will step up their campaign.

Anti-Noise Activist in Burbank, California Says City Council Has Sold Out By Permitting Airport Construction Without Immediate Noise Controls; Referendum Will Check the Public's Opinion. The Los Angeles Times prints a piece alleging that Burbank, California's city council has given up the fight against noise by allowing the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to construct a new terminal without immediate night-curfews and passenger-count caps. The council had the power to refuse the construction of a new terminal if the airport authority failed to implement noise control measures, but chose to require the curfew and caps only if the airport adds gates. The writer concludes, noting an upcoming "mandatory initiative" or referendum on the subject.

Madrid, Spain -- Officially Europe's Loudest City -- Torn Between Late-Night Summer Revelers and Those Who Want Sleep. Scotland on Sunday reports that officials in Madrid, Spain are torn between those who enjoy late-night revelry and those who want sleep. In a particularly loud district, officials have passed a law that requires bars to close by 2 a.m., but bar owners say they should be allowed to stay open late since their real business only begins at midnight. 80% of those living in Madrid are exposed to noise levels above the 65 decibel average that is acceptable according to the World Health Organization. A a noise law that was promised in 1993 is still undrafted.

Since Scandal Forced Key Massachusetts Port Authority Official to Resign, Status of Fight Over New Runway at Boston's Logan Airport is Unclear. The Boston Globe reports that since a scandal forced a key official to resign, the status of a fight over a new runway at Boston's Logan Airport is unclear. Runway opponents believe that the governor -- who supports the runway -- is now more likely to put politics aside and consider more regional solutions, including a new airport.

Westminster, Maryland Resident Brings Noise Case Against Gun Club. The Baltimore Sun reports that a resident of Westminster, Maryland has brought a legal complaint against the Deep Run Rifle and Revolver Club. Evidence from another lawsuit has revealed that the gun club generates 90 decibels, while 45 decibels is the usual sound level in the area. Lawyers for the gun club also note that there is no evidence that there have been safety problems or damaged property values, and say that the club is exempt from noise laws because it opened before their institution.

August 30, 1999

A Proposed Noise Mitigation Plan at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Is Scheduled For Consideration in September; Plan Was Originally Scheduled For June Consideration, and Residents Are Upset At the Delay. The Austin American-Statesman reports that a noise mitigation plan for Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) in Texas will be considered in September by the city council after a delay of several months. The plan would call for buyouts, soundproofing, and money in exchange for overflight easements. Some residents are upset that the plan has been delayed, and say that a program that requires planes to turn over residential areas above a certain altitude is not being enforced. Officials say enforcement is strict.

Company Develops Quieter System to Cool Computer Systems, Making Noise Virtually Undetectable. The Korea Times reports that Major Research and Development has produced an anti-noise system for computers that reduces a typical noise level of 30 decibels to a nearly undetectable 20.

India Faces High Noise Levels From Many Sources, Especially Traffic. India Today reports that India has a noise pollution problems that take many residential areas above the acceptable 55-decibel level. Loud motorists do what they want and get away with it because of a lack of police time. In addition to hearing loss, noise can cause irritability, cardiac problems, insomnia, and less proficient sexual performance. Noise may exacerbate learning disabilities in children, and damage the immature ear in fetuses. One important obstacle to better regulation is public apathy. Soon, manufacturers of household appliances will have to note how loud their equipment is.

Love Field in Dallas, Texas Embroiled In Court Hearings Brought By Neighborhood Organizations to Stop Proposed Increase In the Number of Flights At the Airport. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that several neighborhood organizations have joined in a court battle to keep Love Field in Dallas, Texas from adding flights. Officials want to take advantage of the 1997 relaxation of federal restrictions to increase the number of flights at the airport. Neighborhood organizations are opposing the flight increases "mostly on environmental grounds, including noise, air pollution, air safety and traffic congestion," and expect the fight to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Miami, Florida Residents Wait For FAA to Rule On Proposed Flight Paths At Miami International Airport; FAA Concerns Include Environmental Justice Issues. The Miami Daily Business Review reports that residents and officials in Miami, Florida are still waiting on the FAA's opinion regarding proposed flight paths From Miami International Airport. A task force of "residents, American Airlines pilots and county officials" has developed flight path proposals, but the FAA has put off its judgement of the proposals for some time. The FAA originally postponed its decision until an environmental review of a proposed fourth runway at the airport was available. After that came through, the FAA said it wanted more information on potential environmental justice issues: notably, if steeper takeoffs would cause more noise for modest-income homes nearest the airport.

New Jersey Couple Wins Appeal Against Builders; Builders Must Fix Defects that Have Led to Noise. The New Jersey Lawyer reports that a New Jersey couple won an appeal against the builder who designed their house. The decision requires the builder to correct problems in workmanship that have led to noise from heating ducts under the floors of four rooms.

Residents Near a London, England Incinerator Say the Facility Is Producing Too Much Environmental Pollution and Noise. The London Free Press reports that residents near a London, England incinerator are upset over increasing air-pollution "exceedances" and noise from the facility. No details were given about the noise problems. Air pollution exceedances increased from 61 hours in 1996 to 191 hours in just the first half of 1999. Activists are asking for a public meeting to be scheduled to discuss concerns over the plant.

August 31, 1999

Airline Industry Group Opposes Proposed Nighttime Terminal Closure At Burbank Airport, Which Is Designed As an Alternative To an Outright Curfew. The Los Angeles Times reports that an airline industry group opposes a plan to close California's Burbank Airport terminal at night. The plan was designed to quell citizens' desire for a nighttime curfew without violating federal law that forbids localities from interfering with airport operations. Obtaining an outright, legal curfew would be a lengthy, costly, process involving FAA approval. The FAA has yet to comment on the legality of a terminal closure. Some residents oppose the plan because the city doesn't go far enough towards forcing a curfew, and those residents are seeking a voter initiative to curb airport growth.

Burbank, California Residents Upset Over Public Hearing Held By the Airport Authority that Wasn't Public Enough. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that a public hearing held by Burbank Airport officials in Burbank, California was held in a strangely private manner, "where residents were each given three minutes in private to voice their opinions to an airport representative...." Residents were upset that they couldn't hear what others had to say. Airport officials explained the nature of the hearing by saying that they were trying to make residents more comfortable. Residents were expecting to air their concerns over a recent noise study which designates an official 'noise impact area', outside of which residents will get no financial assistance to be used toward insulating their homes against noise.

Chicago O'Hare Airport Built First "Hush-House" For Quieting Engine Tests in 1997. The Columbian reports that the first 'hush-house' -- a three-walled enclosure designed to reduce noise from engine testing at airports -- was built at Chicago O'Hare Airport in 1997. Noise is reduced by three-quarters, and complaints about engine-testing noise stopped. Maintenance crews love the structure, since it is in an area where no runway crossings are required, and since it is lit particularly well. Although using the $3.2-million structure is voluntary, over 80% used it last year.

Head of the Virgin Empire Holds Annual Party For Employees, Draws Numerous Noise Complaints. The Press Association Newsfile reports that a party in Oxon, U.K. held for all Virgin employees around the country drew many noise complaints. A spokesman for Virgin said that when one environmental health officer showed up to note the excessive noise, the volume from music was turned down immediately. The spokesman apologized for any nuisance that was caused to residents.

Local Council in Killingworth, U.K. Takes U.S. Electronics Manufacturer to Court Over Constant Noise From Its Manufacturing Plant. The Evening Chronicle reports that a U.S. electronics manufacturer -- Viasystems -- is being taken to court by the local council in Killingworth, U.K. over constant noise from its plant. Plant officials did install mufflers on the noisiest outdoor equipment, but the noise continues to be a problem.

London Columnist Tells Citizens What Laws Exist For Use Against Noise Offenders. The Times prints a piece by a London columnist discussing the citizen's recourse against noise offenders. While relying on local bylaws can result in buck-passing between understaffed police and the local council, the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 provides a national law for citizens to use. In addition, the 1997 Harassment Act protects the public from nuisance behavior, and the two laws together can be used to levy fines and jail terms to noise offenders.

Marine Corps Tests Noise From Helicopters Along Del Mar, California's Coastline As Part of 1997 Settlement With Anti-Noise Group. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a noise study was recently performed along the coastline of Del Mar, California to determine the impact of noise from military helicopters. The noise study will last four days, and is part of a 1997 agreement in which the Marine Corps settled with a local anti-noise group -- Move Against Relocating Choppers Here -- in part by promising a noise study. Much resident outcry has been from residents along the already noisy Interstate 15, but shoreline residents receive two-thirds of the noise impact.

New York City Legislators Are Upset Over Unmitigated Noise From Long Island Railroad's Expanded Maintenance Yard; They Demand a Sound Wall, and Threaten to Withhold Other Funding. Newsday reports that legislators in New York City are upset that an expanded railroad maintenance yard has gone into operation without a noise wall. Legislators are threatening to withhold funding for other railroad projects if the noise goes unmitigated. They plan to meet with railroad officials to discuss funding sources for the wall, while residents are calling a news conference to express their frustrations over the noise.

Portland International Airport in Oregon Plans to Build "Hush House" For All But Largest Jets to Quiet Late-Night Engine Testing; Critics Say the Largest Jets -- Which Will Be Tested At the Airport's Corner Nearest Vancouver, Washington -- Will Create Noise Problems for Vancouver. The Columbian reports that the Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon plans to build a 'hush house' to quiet late-night engine testing, but jumbo jets that won't fit will be tested at the edge of the airport near Vancouver, Washington. Airport officials say a 'hush house' large enough for jumbo jets would have raised the price, which is not justified since less than 2% of the engine tests would involve jumbo jets. Others worry that Vancouver will be inundated with noise, and may see a drop in property values; they also note that the percentage of jumbo jets will rise as international traffic becomes more common A particularly vocal Portland resident is responsible for pressuring the airport -- with FAA assistance -- to build the hush-house. Before the hush-house is built, airlines may only test engines at night if departure times necessitate it.

Residents Near Proposed Airport at El Toro -- A Former Marines Base -- Want Nighttime Flight Curfews, Passenger-Count Caps, and Consideration of Noise Impact On Schools; Residents Closer to Nearby John Wayne Airport Say They Already Tolerate Noise, and Want El Toro to Share Some of That Noise Burden. The Los Angeles Times reports that while residents near the proposed airport at El Toro in Orange County, California are worried that noise will irritate them, residents around the nearby John Wayne Airport say they don't want the noise they already deal with to get worse: a situation that could happen if El Toro isn't built. Critics of the airport have pushed for a referendum that could require two-thirds majority support for the construction of the airport. They also note that noise will likely be worse at El Toro since El toro will have two long runways to John Wayne's one short runway. One neighborhood, already within 1,500 feet of a runway at John Wayne, worries that the community would be "demolished" if John Wayne expanded.

Santa Fe, New Mexico Resident Calls For Integrated Noise Laws. The Santa Fe New Mexica prints several letters to the editor, one of which relates to noise. The writer asks Santa Fe officials to work on an integrated set of noise rules that -- as opposed to the current, weak ordinance -- will be effective in reducing noise from numerous sources.

Taylorsville, Utah Residents Organize Public Meeting to Air Concerns Over Noise from Salt Lake City International Airport. The Deseret News reports that residents of Taylorsville, Utah want planes landing at Salt Lake City International Airport to use other flight paths. Since winds often come from the north -- and planes must fly into the wind when it is present -- landings often pass directly over Taylorsville residences. The group will hold a public meeting this week to air concerns; FAA and airport officials have been invited.


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