Chronological Index for June 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

June 1, 1999

Limited Regulation of Leaf Blowers Back in New Jersey State Legislature, Gardeners Happy (Jun. 1 1999). Bc Cycle reports that an impending bill in the California legislature, if passed, would limit cities and counties in their regulation of noisy leaf blowers. Gardeners are backing the legislation for the second time, claiming that bans and regulations on the noisy gardening tools threaten the use of the tool they say is essential in 19 New Jersey cities.. SACRAMENTO - Bc Cycle reports that cities and counties would be limited in their regulation of noisy leaf blowers by an impending bill in the state Legislature.

Local Regulation of Leaf Blowers in New Jersey State Legislature Again. The Associated Press reports that an impending bill in the California legislature, if passed, would limit cities and counties in their regulation of noisy leaf blowers. Gardeners are backing the legislation for the second time, claiming that bans and regulations on the noisy gardening tool will significantly curtail its use in 19 New Jersey cities.

South Carolina Judge Denies Residents' Challenge To Neighborhood Firing Range. The Asheville Citizen-Times of South Carolina reports that a Buncombe County Superior Court judge has denied some Emma landowners a preliminary injunction against the owners of a Shelby Road firing range near their property, which is located in a residential area. A trial date has yet to be determined.

June 2, 1999

Attempt by Cleveland, Ohio's Hopkins Airport to Preserve Homes' Eligibility for Noiseproofing Results in Expansion of Eligible Area. The Plain Dealer reports that as Cleveland, Ohio's Hopkins Airport phases in quieter aircraft and reduces its noise impact area, some homes that were eligible for soundproofing in the past would no longer be eligible. The proposed solution is to lower the decibel limit from 65 decibels to 60 decibels, which would assure that those who have already applied for soundproofing would not be removed from the list. As a result, hundreds of homes that were never eligible for soundproofing will now be able to apply. City council supports the idea, with the stipulation that those who have been on the list the longest be given priority.

Haines City, Florida Council Will Hold Workshop to Tighten Noise Ordinance. The Ledger reports that Haines City, Florida's City Council will be holding an after-meeting workshop designed to find ways to toughen the local noise ordinance; the workshop will be open to the public. Residents have complained for years that the existing ordinance isn't well enforced, and police who try to enforce it have complained that "because of assumptions judges have made, it is hard to get it enforced in the courts." One main target of the new revisions is a better way to restrict excessively loud car stereos. Many elderly people in the community are afraid to call the police to complain, and they wish police would tighten enforcement so they didn't have to.

Judge Rejects Arguments to Bar Jet-Noise Test at Orange County, California's El Toro Marines Base. The Los Angeles Times reports that a judge has dismissed claims by environmentalists that jet-noise tests at Irvine, California's El Toro Marines Base require a state environmental impact report. Environmentalists and other critics have claimed that the $1.3 million demonstration, which is intended to give residents an idea of noise from a proposed commercial airport, is misleading because planes will be flying lighter and thus quieter, a danger to the environment because of noise, and dangerous because of hilly terrain on the takeoff path. The judge said that while all of that may be true, the test will cause insignificant environmental harm, and will be used to gather information: a fact that exempts the demonstration from needing a state environmental report.

Los Angeles, California Leaf Blower Ban Would Be Lifted if Proposed Legislation Passes; Noise and Hours of Operation Would Be Limited Instead. The Los Angeles Times reports that a bill that passed California's State Assembly would lift the current ban on leaf-blowers in many California cities and instead impose limits on noise intensity and hours of operation. Blowers would be legal between 9 and 5 during the week, and could only emit up to 65 decibels of sound; current gas-powered leaf blowers emit an average of 67-69 decibels. The Legislature called for an environmental impact study of leaf blowers earlier this year, and the sponsor of the bill in the Assembly may wait for the results of that study before submitting the bill to the State Senate.

Two Schools in Warwick, Rhode Island are Frequently Disrupted by Jet Noise from T.F. Green Airport, but FAA Says Levels are Too Low to Qualify for Soundproofing. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that while noise from Providence, Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport is disruptive at nearby schools including two in Warwick, the FAA says that noise levels at the schools do not justify money for soundproofing. A member of one of the school's committees said "I would say the most accurate tool is the human ear; if you cannot teach or you cannot hear in the classroom, that model (being used by the government) doesn't matter."

Wauconda, Illinois Considers Increasing Penalties for Noise Ordinance to Increase Compliance. The Chicago Tribune reports that Wauconda, Illinois is considering stiffer penalties for violators of its noise ordinance. The proposal was prompted by increasing complaints about the noise from car stereos at a local apartment complex. Current fines range from $25-$750, but village officials say they 'lack teeth' without jail time to back it up.

June 3, 1999

Burbank, California Airport's Request for Rehearing Denied; Original Decision that Affirmed Burbank's Veto Power Over Airport Expansion Still Stands. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that a rehearing, requested by California's Burbank Airport on the issue of Burbank's veto power over airport expansion, was denied. The original decision held that the city of Burbank must approve any expansion plans at the airport. The airport could still take the case to the Supreme Court, but they hope that a new, scaled-down version of it's original proposal will meet with the city's approval.

Cleveland's Revitalized Warehouse District Gets Louder, Residents Complain. The Cleveland Scene reports that while Cleveland's previously decaying Warehouse District is now jumping with nightclubs, an equally expanding residential population -- currently 1,533 residents and expected to grow by another 500 this year -- is concerned about the noise from bands, noisy patrons, and traffic that continue past 2 AM. The Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation will be funding a survey to determine if residents in the District feel noise is a problem. The mayor claims he is concerned with noise in neighborhoods, and will be looking into the issue.

Legislators and Officials from West Allis, Wisconsin's Milwaukee Mile Racetrack to Meet Today and Devise Noise Reduction Strategies. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Mayor of West Allis, Wisconsin along with legislators and officials from the local Milwaukee Mile Racetrack will have a meeting today to discuss ways to reduce noise. Though the track manager says he has received only five noise complaints, he says he is willing to work with neighbors as long as he feels their intention is not to shut him down. While major races at the track last only a few hours, the track is also by racers testing tires and by a race driving school; this noise can go on all day long without a break.

Letter to the Editor in Lake City, Georgia Accuses Atlanta Airport Officials of Lying to Gain Support for a Proposed New Runway. The Atlanta Journal prints a letter to the editor that accuses the city of Atlanta of unfairly exploiting surrounding communities with Hartsfield International Airport's proposed fifth runway. The runway was originally to be for commuter traffic only, but there is already talk of expansion to support jets. The letter also mentions a previous promise broken by the airport to fly a designated path that would reduce noise. The author calls for another major airport in another area of Atlanta to more fairly distribute air-traffic impacts.

Menlo Park, California's City Council Sets Decibel Limit for Leaf Blowers and Restricts Hours, Rejecting Proposal to Only Allow Their Use Every Other Week. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Menlo Park's City Council restricted the noise-levels and hours of operation for leaf blowers, but did not limit their use to every other week as was proposed. More than 100 residents, including many local gardeners, attended a council meeting that dealt with the issue; many spoke against the proposed every-other-week ban, saying that it would "make outlaws out of honest, hard-working gardeners." The restrictions would limit legal leaf-blowers to those producing 65 decibels or less, and would require operators to wear ear protection. In addition, hours of operation were limited to 8-5 on weekdays, 11-3 on Saturdays (for residents, not paid gardeners), and banned from Sundays, holidays and "Spare the Air" days.

Noise Monitoring Procedures at Louisville, Kentucky's International Airport More Acceptable to Residents than Study Done Six Years Ago; Study Hopes to Give Insight Into Noise Abatement Strategies. The Courier-Journal reports that Leigh Fisher Associates has begun a noise study at Louisville, Kentucky's International Airport. The study utilizes noise monitors that record noise simultaneously at four locations for 24-hour periods; this time -- as opposed to a study six years ago -- monitor locations will be kept secret from Airport Authority officials, and a grassroots advisory committee has input into which 20 monitoring sites were selected. The consultants acknowledge that it would be hard for the authority to reroute planes away from noise monitors, but the secrecy has given residents more confidence in the study's eventual results. The results will be compared to a computer model, and the model will be adjusted if necessary.

Pilot Reveals Details of Why Orange County, California's El Toro Airport Jet-Noise Demonstration is Deceptive. The Orange County Register prints an editorial by George Serniak, a pilot with a major airline, which gives specific reasons as to why a jet-noise test at Orange County, California's El Toro Marine Base will be deceptive. He notes that the demonstration, purported to show residents what a commercial airport at El Toro would sound like, will use only one arrival path and two departure paths; he further notes that most often pilots and air-traffic controllers determine the safest, most efficient 'visual approach', which follows no prescribed flight path. He says that contrary to the impression that one arrival path will give, "arrivals will blanket the majority of south Orange County residential areas."

Providence, Rhode Island City Council Proposes Revisions to Toughen Noise Ordinance. Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that the City Council of Providence, Rhode Island is making revisions to their ordinance that should make enforcement easier and stiffen fines. The revisions come as noise complaints continue to roll in during the loud summer season, and are meant to target car radios, amplification systems, and home stereos. Excessive noise is defined loosely as"any noise audible at a distance of 200 feet from its source by a person of normal hearing," allowing officers to make a judgment call. $100 fines will be the minimum, and will double for uncontested violations. Repeat offenders will draw a $100 surcharge on top of any fine. Fines will be $500 for violators who contest a fine but are found guilty, or they may serve up to 10 days in jail.

Report Released by Izaak Walton League of America Details Environmental Damage and Safety Risks Caused by Personal Watercraft in America. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a report released by the Izaak Walton League of America details the environmental and safety concerns raised by increasing use of personal watercraft. While many consider the noise from personal watercraft a nuisance, the report asserts that problems go far beyond that. Ordinances around the country are restricting their use. Their two-cycle engines are terrible polluters, they cause a disproportionately large percentages of water-based accidents, and their noise and spray disrupt wildlife, plant life, and others who use the waterways.

Rocky Hill, Connecticut Residents Along I-91 Pleased that State is Conducting Noise Abatement Analysis. The Hartford Courant reports that residents in Rocky Hill, Connecticut near I-91, who have for decades complained about traffic noise, are pleased with the state's current noise abatement study. Residents submitted a 200-signature petition to the city council complaining about interstate noise; the interstate borders 700-800 homes in Rocky Hill. The Federal Highway Administration has determined that noise abatement must be provided, and the state is in the process of deciding whether that is reasonable and feasible. If all goes well, construction could begin within several years.

Tavares, Florida's City Council Gave Preliminary Approval to New Noise Ordinance; Some Worry it is Too Subjective. The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports that the City Council of Tavares, Florida has given its preliminary approval to a noise ordinance which would allow police to ticket violators from $50 to $250. The ordinance was proposed in response to complaints targeted at a local restaurant that hosts live bands. The ordinance defines violations subjectively as "noise which tends to cause discomfort or disturbs or annoys any reasonable person of normal sensitiveness residing in the area," and proceeds to define it more objectively as "the use or operation of any radios, sound amplifiers, loudspeakers and musical instruments, among other things, plainly audible between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. at a distance of 50 feet." Restaurant operators maintain they are not violating any ordinance, and wish the ordinance would set a truly objective, decibel limit.

June 4, 1999

Airport Expansion Opponents in St. Charles, Missouri Speak to an Unmoved St. Louis Airport Commission About Increased Noise and Safety Concerns. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis Airport Commission was unfazed by a statement from St. Charles, Missouri's Citizens Against Aircraft Noise (CAAN). The statement said that a real-time study should be performed before a third runway -- which would be two miles closer to St. Charles and increase noise -- is approved at Lambert Field. CAAN co-chairman Pat McDonnell asked for a real-time study of the expansion plan, which would include a computer model of predicted impacts. "We need your assurances that our families and homes are not in danger," McDonnell said. "You would demand the same for your families."

Change in Flight Paths over Communities Near Arizona's Sky Harbor International Airport Blamed for Increased Noise. The Arizona Republic reports that residents in Apache Junction and the Ahwatukee Foothills -- two communities near Arizona's Sky Harbor International Airport -- are complaining about an increase in jet-noise in mid-March. Residents say there should have been a public hearing to discuss a change in flight paths, since the noise impact has increased so much in their communities and over a Superstition Mountain wilderness area. The FAA made seemingly euphemistic claims that there was "no 'flight pattern change' and no environmental impact; they implemented a 'flight departure procedure change' from Sky Harbor."

Columnist Takes Sarcastic Look at What He Asserts is an Overly Expensive, Unnecessary Jet-Noise Demonstration at Orange County, California's El Toro Marines Base. The Orange County Register prints a column, taking a sarcastic look at the $1.3 million jet-noise test at Orange County, California's El Toro Marine Base. The author Jeff Kramer asserts that the County has a knack for spending large amounts of money to reveal the obvious: in this case, whether a commercial airport at El Toro would cause annoying noise. He takes us through his own low budget survey of various sounds that are annoying.

Controversial Flight Demonstration at Orange County, California's El Toro Military Base to Take Place Saturday. The Orange County Register reports that a flight demonstration at Orange County, California's Marine Base which is intended to show the public what a commercial airport at the base would be like will take place Saturday. Critics claim that the demonstration is misleading because planes will be lighter and there will be relatively few flights. Also, some fear that the demonstration is not safe, since the two flight paths to be used are deemed to dangerous by the nation's two pilot unions. The article then lists the schedule for takeoffs and landings.

Officials at West Allis, Wisconsin's Milwaukee Mile Racetrack Will Institute Policies Aimed at Reducing Impacts from Noise. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a meeting between Milwaukee Mile racetrack officials, State Fair officials, and three local legislators has succeeded in identifying significant steps that will reduce noise for residents of West Allis, Wisconsin. At the meeting, racetrack officials agreed to post signs showing the schedule for non-race events such as tire-testing and race car driving school classes. They also agreed to limit the number of cars that can test tires at once, require better mufflers for the driving school, and refrain from scheduling any new non-race events this year.

Queanbeyan Council in Australia to Ask Yarrowlumla Shire for More Land After Council Takes Heat For Approving Development Under an Existing Canberra Airport Flight Path. The Canberra Times reports that Queanbeyan Council will meet with Yarrowlumla Shire in an attempt to obtain more land for residential development. In 1996, the Council approved a proposal for a 500-unit development under an existing flight path for nearby Canberra Airport. The transport minister criticized the approval then and now as irresponsible, since the current flight path has already been moved several times in response to resident protests. The Minister of Planning is to make a decision on the proposal in about a month.

Racetrack Officials in West Allis, Wisconsin Agree to Reduce Noise. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that officials at the Milwaukee Mile Racetrack in West Allis, Wisconsin has agreed to limit noise. Residents have complained about noise that lasts all day; most of this noise comes not from races, but from pre-race tire testing and a racecar-driving school that helps the track bring in revenue when there are no races. Officials at the track have agreed to post signs to tell residents when loud non-race events will occur, reduce the number of cars that can be testing tires at any given time, and require better mufflers for the driving school.

Residents Near Orange County, California's El Toro Marine Base Not Happy With First Day of Jet-Noise Demonstrations. The City News Service reports that after the first day of a $1.3 million jet-noise demonstration at Orange County, California's El Toro Marines Base, residents are not pleased. One man who lives near the flight path said "I think it's really intolerable, particularly every three minutes to have that going by...." Three of the five county supervisors are for the conversion of the El Toro base to a commercial airport, and the demonstration is meant to give residents a feel for how loud a commercial airport would be.

Residents of Arizona's Ahwatukee Foothills to Petition FAA and Get Answers Explaining Increased Airplane Noise. The Arizona Republic reports that residents of Ahwatukee Foothills in Arizona are scheduled to meet with FAA officials to discuss increased airplane noise over their community. Two residents will be collecting names of those who wish to complain about the increased traffic which began in mid-March after flight patterns from Sky Harbor International Airport changed. The FAA acknowledges that 40-80 more flights are flying over the community using an older route due to increased air traffic and shifting wind patterns; they also claim that the planes should be 7,000-10,000 feet high and away from the foothills area, and shouldn't cause much noise on the ground.

Weather Remains Biggest Threat to Jet-Noise Test at Orange County, California's El Toro Marines Base. The Los Angeles Times reports that weather may be a problem for the morning flights scheduled in a jet-noise test at Orange County, California's El Toro Marines Base. FAA regulations say the flight must be scrubbed if clouds are below 3,000 feet or visibility is under three miles; Marines removed electronic equipment from the airport that would have allowed landings in 'foul weather." If the first flight is scrubbed, it will be sent to Ontario International Airport and attempt another El Toro landing at 4 PM.

June 5, 1999

Authorities at Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin's Lake Wisconsin Use Airplane Surveillance to Record Violators of Personal Watercraft Laws. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that 14 County Conservation wardens at Prairie Du Sac, Wisconsin's Lake Wisconsin will be joined by an airplane in an effort to catch violators of personal water craft rules. The airplane will be used to record violations on video. Complaints from lakefront residents about noise, as well as concerns about environmental destruction and safety issues, prompted the rules and the crack-down. Boaters will be given warnings, but wardens will give tickets when necessary; while personal watercraft represent only 5 percent of registered boats on the lake, they are involved in a much higher percentage of the accidents there.

Chicago O'Hare Airport's Noise Compatibility Commission Asks FAA to Ban Older, Noisy Planes. The Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago O'Hare Airport's Noise Compatibility Commission -- following the lead of the European Union -- is asking the FAA to ban noisier aircraft that don't meet quiet-engine standards. Hush-kits can muffle some noise from older airplanes, but the engines still don't run as quiet as those in newer aircraft. New federal standards take effect next year, but O'Hare also encouraged the FAA to begin cooperative work on an even quieter set of noise standards that could be accepted internationally.

City Commissioners in Haines City, Florida Tighten Noise Ordinance Restrictions. The Ledger reports that Haines City, Florida City Commissioners have begun revising the local noise and nuisance ordinances to make it stricter and more enforceable. If the revisions are passed by the council, violators will now be subject to fines of up to $500 a day up to $7500 for violations such as drug-related activity, prostitution, and criminal gang activity.

First Day of Jet-Noise Demonstrations in Orange County, California Met with Mixed Reactions from Residents. The Los Angeles Times reports that after the first day of $1.3 million jet-noise tests at the 4,700 acre El Toro Marine Base in Orange County, Florida, neighbors were mixed in their reactions. Today will be the second day of the demonstrations, which are designed to help people make up their mind as to whether to support a commercial airport at El Toro; the proposed airport could handle up to 28.8 million passengers each year by 2020. Critics say the tests are worthless because only under-loaded planes are using unrealistic flight paths, and air traffic is no comparison to an actual commercial airport.

Jet-Noise Demonstration at El Toro Marine Base in Orange County, California Draws Mixed Reactions from Neighbors. The Los Angeles Times reports that after the first day of $1.3 million jet-noise tests at the 4,700 acre El Toro Marine Base in Orange County, Florida, neighbors are mixed in their reactions. Many critics turned out with noise monitors -- despite the fact that the County had stationed their own -- and measured noise of up to 107 decibels. Some scheduled demonstration flights in the early morning were scrubbed because of bad weather; critics said this supported their claim that the demonstration flight paths were misleading because they would eventually be forbidden by federal officials due to safety concerns. Officials claimed that the flights were scrubbed only because the foul-weather landing system -- which would be in place at a functioning commercial airport -- had been removed by the Marines when they vacated the base.

Minnesota's Legislature -- Which Initiated Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Expansion Plans Near Richfield -- Reluctant to Help Fund Noise Abatement. The Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota Legislature -- which initiated plans for a new north-south runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport near Richfield -- does not seem willing to help pay for noise abatement that the project would necessitate. Last year, the city of Richfield almost sued the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) over lack of designated funds for noise abatement. The settlement included plans to seek funds from the Legislature, but so far there has been no success.

Residents in Arlington, Florida Don't Want Runway Expansion at Craig Municipal Airport. The Florida Times-Union reports that a residents in Arlington, Florida are worried that a proposed $6 million, 2,000 foot runway extension at Craig Municipal Airport would increase air traffic to a point inappropriate for their small community. The airport currently has two 4,000-foot runways; the extension would allow larger -- but still relatively small -- general aviation airplanes currently using Jacksonville International Airport to use Craig instead.

Residents in Orange County, California Have Mixed Responses to Jet-Noise Demonstrations at El Toro Marine Base. The Los Angeles Times reports that after jet-noise demonstrations at Orange County, California's El Toro Marine Base, residents have mixed reactions. One resident said "When it went over, I just thought, 'I'm moving... this is no way to live." Another claimed they were"within tennis ball-throwing distance from them." Still others worry about peripheral problems like traffic, pollution, and congestion. Conversely, some admitted the noise wasn't as bad as they expected.

June 6, 1999

Resident Near Proposed Greensboro, North Carolina's Piedmont Triad International Airport Notes Problems with Proposed FedEx Hub: Lowering of Already Low Water Table, Pollution, and Noise. The News & Record prints an editorial which discusses problems with the proposed FedEx hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. Beyond traditional problems with airports such as noise and air pollution, the proposed 9,000 foot runway and 300-acre FedEx building will prevent 84 million gallons of rainwater from permeating the ground; this comes after a summer when the community almost ran out of drinking water. In addition, water that did reach the ground would be more polluted with toxic de-icing chemicals and spilled fuel. Further, the author believes that the community, which will shoulder most of the burden of the airport while sharing its economic benefits with ten other counties, should have other financial priorities; growth should be encouraged by drawing tax-paying corporations, not by giving tax-breaks to wealthy FedEx and allowing it to decrease surrounding property values while local schools sit hopelessly overcrowded and lacking in funds.

Residents of East Harlem, New York Complain About Excessively Loud Worship Services. The New York Times reports that East Harlem, New York residents are fed up with noise that registers up to 90 dB in their living rooms from the nearby Iglesia Pentecostal Abrigo del Altissimo church. Two summer's ago, the amplified services -- which include preaching and singing -- happened for several hours in the evenings, seven days a week, for two months; the church arrived with a tent and set it up in an empty lot with a public address system that faced the street. Residents say that Harlem has never been a quiet place, but also say that this church is excessively loud.

London Resident Notes that Small Two-Stroke Motorcycles Should Be Subject to Same Noise Restrictions as Four-Stroke Vehicles. London's Sunday Telegraph prints a letter to the editor, pointing out that loud motorcycles are not the fault of negligent motorists, but the fault of ambiguous law that allows two-stroke vehicles to be louder than four-stroke vehicles.

Stamford, Connecticut Police Take Over Enforcement of Hard-To-Enforce Noise Laws. The New York Times reports that Stamford, Connecticut Police have taken over the job of enforcing the city's noise ordinance from the Department of Health. The ordinance, which says a $99 ticket may be issued for excessively loud noise, can be difficult to enforce for moving vehicles with loud stereos; the ordinance requires that a noise level be determined with and without the offending noise, which means most violators will be long gone before they qualify for a ticket. Other noise issues in the city include loud bars and nightclubs, and early-morning garbage trucks.

June 7, 1999

FAA Approves Terminal Expansion and Parking Garage at Jackson, Wyoming's Jackson Hole Airport, Rejects Plans for New Radar System and Noise-Reducing Restrictions. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that the Federal Aviation Administration approved a terminal expansion and new parking garage at Jackson, Wyoming's Jackson Hole Airport. The 10,000 square foot terminal expansion will make room for additional gates. Plans to move rental-car company parking off-site may free up more parking for the public, eliminating the need for the new parking garage. The proposals were part of an environmental assessment presented to the FAA as part of a long-term plan for airport expansion. Other parts of the plan, such as noise-reduction initiatives, were rejected because costs involved were not clearly justified.

Bensenville, Illinois -- located near O'Hare Airport --to Continue Selecting Homes for Soundproofing by Block Instead of Along Noise Contour Lines to Avoid Resentment Between Neighbors. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Village Board of Bensenville, Illinois -- a Chicago suburb affected by aircraft noise from O'Hare airport -- will continue to select homes for soundproofing by block. The airport's noise contour lines sometimes designate only portions of a given block as eligible for soundproofing, but the Board holds that soundproofing only part of a block is arbitrary and can cause resentment among neighbors.

Singapore Resident Challenges Environment Ministry to Deal With Noise from Construction Sites. The Straits Times prints a letter to the editor from a Singapore resident who is tired of having family life disrupted by construction noise. She says many of her friends are in similar situations, and asks why the government -- who claims to be trying to attract tourism and foreign talent -- isn't cracking down on noise of over 70 dBs as late as 10:30 PM.

British Parliament May Give Municipalities the Right to Close Roads to Reduce Traffic, Noise, and Pollution on National Car-Free Day and Other Days. Times Newspapers Limited reports that as England prepares for the upcoming National Car-Free Day, which encourages motorists to voluntarily give up their car for a day, Parliament is considering granting municipalities the right to close roads on car-free days. Ministers have been impressed by French successes with road-closings; thirty-five French towns closed roads last year, "cutting car traffic by up to a third, and reducing noise and pollution"; then, local councils create detailed reports about public response, and reductions in noise and pollution.

Supreme Court Rejects an Appeal by Environmentalists that Claimed the Government is Moving Too Slowly to Reduce Aircraft Noise in the Grand Canyon. AP Online reports that the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from environmentalists that claimed the government was moving too slowly to reduce aircraft noise from sightseeing flights over the Grand Canyon. The decision confirmed what lower appeals courts asserted: even the slow pace of progress is something, and it is unfair to say no steps have been taken. The appeal had claimed that at the current rate of action, "no delay is unreasonable." In contrast, a group of air tour operators have claimed the government is moving too quickly. Both claims have been rejected by appeals courts.

June 8, 1999

Chicago, Illinois Alderman Suggests Easing Noise Ordinance Against Boom-Cars, Claiming Consequence of Car-Impoundment Falls Too Disproportionately on Minorities; City Council Disagrees. The Chicago Tribune reports that a Chicago, Illinois City Council committee rejected a proposal to limit the hours that the noise ordinance against boom-cars would apply. Currently, car-owners who play excessively loud stereos can be fined up to $500, and have their car-impounded; getting their car back costs $115. The alderman claimed that violators were disproportionately minorities, and that they were unfairly hindered from going to work. The proposal would have limited the applicable hours of the ordinance to between 9 AM and 9 PM.

Government of India Will Regulate Noise Pollution. M2 Presswire reports that the Government of India's Ministry of Environment and Forests will set regulations to control noise pollution. Noise sources targeted will include firecrackers, construction, P.A. systems, amplified music, generators, and loud vehicles. In the case of firecrackers, manufacturers will be targeted as well. The action is based on the understanding that noise has "an adverse effect on human health and affect[s] the physical and psychological well being of the people." Regulators will seek to insure that existing ambient noise standards are not exceeded, and will give police power to enforce these regulations.

Public Invited to Attend Volunteer Committee Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky to Discuss Ways to Reduce the Impact of Airport Noise. The Courier-Journal reports that a volunteer committees on airport noise -- sponsored by Louisville, Kentucky's regional airport authority -- is inviting the public to attend a meeting to discuss ways to reduce the noise's impact. The committees make up the Airport Noise Compatibility Study Group, which is working with the airport authority's consultants to recommend ways to measure and abate aircraft noise.

Supreme Court Rejects Appeals from Environmentalists that Claim the Government is Moving Too Slowly to Address Noise from Sightseeing Planes Over the Grand Canyon.. Greenwire reports that the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Environmentalists that said the Federal Aviation Administration's plan to reduce noise by 2008 violates Federal Law which requires noise-abatement steps. Air-tour operators had also filed suit, claiming the government was moving too quickly. The Supreme Court Decision agreed with a previous U.S. Court of Appeals decision, which said that it was unfair to say that no noise-abatement steps had been taken. Environmentalists claimed that "Under this approach, no delay is unreasonable."

Supreme Court is Latest Court to Reject Environmentalist Arguments that Government Must Move More Quickly to Reduce Aircraft Noise over the Grand Canyon and Other National Parks. The Tennessean reports that the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from seven environmental groups -- including the Grand Canyon Trust -- to more quickly reduce noise from planes flying over the Grand Canyon. In a similar case over helicopter landing pads -- used by tourism companies -- near Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the court similarly refused to hear arguments. In 1987, a federal law was passed that noted safety concerns and the negative impacts of noise from aircraft flying over the Grand Canyon; after years of study, a 1994 report said more noise reduction was needed. The FAA created flight-free zones and limited flights, to be in place by 2008. Air tour operators complained this was too fast, while environmentalists argued it was too slow.

June 9, 1999

Annual Grand Prix Brings Money to Montreal, Noise to St. Lambert Residents Across the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Gazette reports that noise from the annual Formula One Grand Prix -- held on Montreal's Ile Notre Dame -- has been irritating residents in Saint-Lambert across the St. Lawrence Seaway for years. While the event brings in $80 million to the local economy, St. Lambert says it doesn't benefit. One resident said "It is so unbearable because usually it's hot but you have to close all the doors and windows, otherwise it sounds like someone using a power tool right next to your ear." Even the Mayor of Saint-Lambert says that he knows many people who leave town to avoid noise from the event.

Noise Complaint By Cornwall, U.K. Resident Leads British Airways to Slow Concorde Flights Earlier, Causing Sonic Boom Farther Away From Land. AFX News reports that British Airways, in response to a two-year campaign by a resident in Cornwall, England, will slow its Concorde flights earlier in their approach to the shore. Harry Pusey, former aviation expert, has had his sleep disrupted by the Concorde's sonic boom just before 10:00 PM in winter along with many other residents living on the north coast. The Concorde will now slow from 1,920 to 96 kph 11 kilometers earlier, causing the boom while the aircraft is still out of sound range of land; the alteration will add less than a minute to the 3-4 hour trip between New York and London.

Noise Ordinance in Hendricks County, Indiana Repealed After Less Than a Year Since Vague Language Makes it Impossible to Enforce. The Indianapolis Star reports that a noise ordinance passed last July in Hendricks County, Indiana was repealed by the County Commission because of difficulties with enforcement. The ordinance was watered-down from the original proposal by the Sheriff's Department, and vague language defined a violation only as "unreasonable noise which is clearly audible beyond the bounds of their personal property." Police officers were also unable to accurately measure the volume of alleged disturbances.

Rural Neighborhood Near Florida's Lake George Disrupted By Noise From Airboats. The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports that communities near Florida's Lake George are being disrupted by noisy airboats. An existing ordinance prohibits airboat noise from bothering residents, but the ordinance requires that the boat operator be caught being too loud too close to a residence. Volusia County Council member "Big John" wants to tighten enforcement of that ordinance, or alternatively ban airboats from the lake during the later hours of the day. Deputies have said they will patrol the lake more, but promise to evaluate each situation and not simply go after airboat operators.

June 10, 1999

Atlanta Restaurants Are Getting Louder; Diners Weigh Exciting Atmosphere Against Agitating Noise. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that restaurants in Atlanta are louder than they were ten years ago. Some venues are noisy by design in an attempt to convey an exciting atmosphere; these places may play louder music, and furnish their establishments with metal, cement, wood, tile and other smooth surfaces that tend to reflect sound. Some restaurants are noisy because they tend to draw larger groups, or because of the materials they are furnished with. Restaurants that want to be quieter can install carpets over smooth floors that reflect noise, and place sound-absorbing paneling in ceilings and walls.

June 11, 1999

New Tampa, FL Noise Ordinance Has Residents Asking for More Restrictions, Bar Owners for Less. The St. Petersberg Times reports Tampa resident have long requested a stricter noise ordinance, but business-- particularly bar -- owners say they cannot exist under the proposed new limits.

June 12, 1999

Water Enthusiast Writes of Noise, Stench Caused by Watercraft. The London Free Press recently ran a letter to the editor complaining of the noise and smells generated by watercraft on England's lakes.

Firearm Silencers Explained. New Scientist reports that firearm silencers work very differently from the way they are portrayed in movies. Noise from a firearm discharge comes from hot gas expanding rapidly behind the bullet, and from the bullet breaking the sound barrier. Silencers slow the expansion of the gas in several ways: providing an expansion chamber for the gas, breaking up the column of gas with baffles, dissipating and cooling the gas with wire mesh or liquid that acts as a heat sink, or slowing the bullet to sub-sonic speed.

June 13, 1999

British Professor Says Owls' Wing Feathers Are Key to Quiet Flight; Suggests Airplane Engineers Take Note. The Ottowa Citizen reports a British professor says the key to owls'quiet flight is in their wing feathers and may offer suggestions to airplane engineers.

Clark County, WA Group Fights Proposed Amphitheater. The Columbian reports residents of Clark County, WA fear a proposed amphitheater will ruin their peace and quiet. For ammunition, they have examined what life is like near Virginia's GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater.

Lake Campbell, Alaska Resident Writes of Necessity of Co-Existing with Local Airplane Noise. The Anchorage Daily News recently ran an opinion piece by a Lake Cambell Resident who notes residents there must accept airplane noise since airplanes are a key mode of transportation there.

Orlando, FL Journalist Bemoans Country's Increasing Volume. The Orlando Sentinel Tribune ran an opinion piece by reporter Kate Santich, who worries people are too accepting of this country's increasing level of noise.

Plainview, NY Residents Say Proposed Expressway Sound Barrier Too Intrusive. The Daily News reports residents of Plainview, NY feel a proposed expressway sound barrier would destroy their landscape.

June 14, 1999

Hot Springs, AK Police to Target Noisy Car Stereos and "Boom Boxes" in City. The Associated Press reports police in Hot Springs, Arkansas will begin issuing more noise ordinance citations in the wake of increased complaints from residents about car stereos and "boom boxes."

NASA Predicts Aviation Advances, Including Less Noise, if Program Is Better-Funded. Aviation Week and Space Technology reports NASA predicts great improvements in aviation design in the next two decades, but only if program funding increases substantially.

Noise Greatest Cause of Hearing Loss in Aging Baby Boomers. The Palm Beach Post reports President Clinton's noise-related hearing loss has prompted other baby boomers to seek treatment for their own noise-related hearing problems.

North Tynsdale, UK Developers Told To Limit Construction Hours or Pay Fines. The Evening Chronicle reports three housing developers at a Tynesdale, UK development have been formally warned that failure to limit their work hours will result in fines.

June 15, 1999

Dallas, TX Columnist Complains about Overly-Stimulating Ballpark Noise. The Dallas Morning News ran an opinion column by William McKenzie, who feels ballparks are becoming too noisy for patrons.

Long Grove, IL Golf Course Owners Protest Time Limits on Noisy Mowing. The Chicago Daily Herald reports golf course operators in Long Grove, IL say a proposed noise ordinance limiting hours of use for mowers and other such equipment will not allow them sufficient time for course maintenance.

Milton, MA Selectmen Hear Complaints about Late-Night Maintenance-Truck Beeping on Golf Course. The Patriot Ledger reports residents of Milton, MA are complaining to their selectmen about late-night beeping from trucks working on the Quarry Hills Gold Course.

Raytheon Aircraft Co. Shows Wares at Paris Airshow, Including Beech 1900D with a Quiet-Cabin Feature. A press release from the M2Presswire Company details the Raytheon Aircraft Company's new showings at the Paris Airshow, including a Beech 1900D model with a quieter cabin.

San Pedro, NM Residents Protest Proposed Gravel Pit. The Albuquerque Journal reports residents near a proposed gravel pit in San Pedro, NM fear noise from the pit will destroy their lifestyle.

Tavares, FL City Council to Vote on Stricter Noise Ordinance. The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports the Tavares City Council will vote on a stricter noisie ordinance.

June 16, 1999

Arlington, IL Residents Protest Increased Night Noise at O'Hare, Say Flight Path Usage Violates "Fly Quiet" Plan. The Chicago Daily Herald reports Arlington, IL's village board is getting fed up with increased noise at O'Hare International Airport. The board says the extra noise is caused by greater use of the airport's southeast-to-northeast runways, which the board says runs contrary to the recommended patterns of Chicago's "Fly Quiet" program.

Irish Soldier Receives Financial Award for Army-Related Hearing Loss. The Irish Times reports a long-term Irish soldier successfully sued the Minister for Defense and State for the hearing loss he suffered while in the army.

Magnolia, WA and Seattle Suburbs Protest Night Flights At Boeing Field. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports residents of Magnolia, WA and other Seattle suburbs are seeking an alternative night flight path into Boeing Field, instead of the current one directly over Magnolia.

Motorcycle Noise Major Problem. The Straits Times (Singapore) printed a letter to the editor protesting motorcycle noise.

New York City Enacts New, Stricter Noise Ordinance. The Associated Press (through the Dessert News, Salt Lake City, UT) reports some New Yorkers are unhappy with a new, strict noise ordinance recently passed by the city council.

Procedures and Staffing to Change at Los Angeles, CA's Van Nuys Airport. The Los Angeles Times reports procedural and administrative changes have begun at Los Angeles Van Nuys Airport in an attempt to resolve problems.

San Antonio, TX Cites Concrete Company for Noise. The San Antonio Express News reports a Northwest Side concrete company received a citation for violating the city's noise ordinance.

South County, CA Residents Respond to Jet Demonstration at El Toro Base. The Los Angeles Times recently included letters to the editor regarding the El Toro base in South County, CA. One letter stated a test done at the base supported claims of excessive noise, while one felt noise was not a problem there.

University Park, TX Neighborhood Battles Church over New Play Areas. The Dallas Morning News reports residents of a University Park neighborhood are at odds with a local church over the latter's new playground and basketball court.

June 17, 1999

Isle of Palms, SC Restaurant Wins Court Battle over "Overbroad" Noise Ordinance. The Post and Courier reports a federal judge ruled that the Isle of Palms noise ordinance is too vague and broad to be legally enforcable.

Miami Club Abandons Noise Ordinance Lawsuit After City Drops Violation Fines. The Broward Daily Business Review reports a Miami club has abandoned its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several noise ordinances after the city dropped the fines it had levied against the club for violating them.

Moore Township Residents Sue Couple to Ban Boisterous Birds. The Morning Call reports residents of Moore Township are suing a neighboring couple, charging the couple's peacocks are a noise nuisance and requesting the birds be banned. P>According to the Morning Call, neighbors of Warren and Renate Gosdin, 399 Moorestown Drive, will request at a Northampton County Court hearing today that the Gosdins be required to remove the birds. A complaint township solicitor David M. Backenstoe filed in court last week says the Gosdins' peacocks violate the township's nuisance ordinance by emitting "intolerably loud" screeching sounds that affect the "physical and mental well-being of the residents."

Naperville, IL Seeks to Refine Its Noise Ordinances. The Chicago Tribune reports the city of Naperville, IL has moved from tackling noisy car stereos to completely remaking all its noise-related ordinances.

Rhode Island Airport Corporation Seeks Grants to Buy Homes of Noise-Weary Neighbors. The Associated Press reports the Rhode Island Airport Corporation is hoping to buy the homes of neighbors near the T.F.Green Airport. The board of directors also plans to create alternative flight paths and insulate some homes against noise.

Sigapore's Land Transport Authority Defends Its Highway Noise Reduction Efforts. The Straits Times (Singapore) printed a letter by Han Liang Yuan of the Land Transport Authority, defending the Authority's efforts to reduce road traffic noise.

South County Residents Protest Plans for International Airport. The Los Angeles Times reports South County residents have mobilized against the threat of a proposed international airport, saying county-sponsored noise tests were inaccurate.

Tavares, Florida City Council Postpones Passage of Noise Ordinance; More Objective Definitions Needed. The Orlando Sentinel Tribune reports the Tavares City Council has postponed the passage of a new noise ordinance until it can create more objectives standards for the law.

Warwick, RI Airport Corporation Creates Noise-Reduction Plan. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports the Rhode Island Airport Corporation approved a plan to reduce noise problems for airport neighbors.

June 18, 1999

Louisiana Senate Approves Bill to Prohibit Excessive Noise Near Hospitals and Houses of Worship. The Times-Picayune reports the Louisiana Senate approved a bill that would prohibit loud noises near hospitals and houses of worship.

June 22, 1999

U.S. Navy's Fledgling Sonar Submarine System Shown to Harm Marine Life. The Earth Island Journal reports the U.S. Navy's latest sonar submarine detection system could severly damage whales' and dolphins' acoustic-based ability to find food and defend themselves.

June 25, 1999

Excessively Loud Car Stereo's Should Be Challenged With Product Liability Lawsuits Similar to Recent Attacks on Cigarette and Firearm Manufacturers. The Oklahoma Observer prints an opinion piece by a resident who is consistently irritated by excessively loud stereos in so-called 'boom cars.' He cites scientific evidence of human health and safety problems caused by noise, including hearing impairment, decreased response time while driving, stress contributing to heart disease, and sleep deprivation. The author also suggests that 'Gangsta Rap', which some say contribute to increasing violence in schools, is often used to show-off loud car stereo systems; he suggests that the music's market could be somewhat undermined by attacking excessively loud car stereos, circumventing sticky constitutional issues. Finally, he suggests that product liability lawsuits should be brought against loud stereo manufacturers, similar to those recently levied against cigarette manufacturers.

Fewer Calls to Noise Hotline for Chicago O'Hare Airport May Not Mean Less Noise. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that calls to Chicago O'Hare Airport's noise complaint hotline are down for the first quarter of the year from 8,200 calls from 3,751 people to 5,044 calls from 1901 people. Chicago aviation spokesman claims that individual 'noise events' as measured by noise monitors are down, but many say that the drop in complaints is just due to resident frustration with the perceived futility of their calls to the 2.5-year-old hotline. Park Ridge Mayor Ron Wietecha says "Most people are frustrated. And the noise hasn't gotten better for us." Most callers complain of low-flying planes, followed by those who complain of the number of planes.

Housing Developer in Birmingham, England Reconsiders Plans After Noise and Pollution Impacts Judged to Be Too High. The Birmingham Post reports that a Birmingham, England housing developer, who had planned to build ten homes on a village green there for 450,000 pounds, has noted that increased noise from the development would be unfair to current residents. While noisy roads around the area throw the results into question, the development will be reconsidered. The developer said "We are still committed towards the scheme and will work to ensure the best possible layout is achieved for this much-needed project."

Neighbors of Bath, Maine's Iron Works Protest Shipyard's Permit Request that Would Allow Nighttime Work. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that neighbors, who have already dealt with noise from unapproved nighttime construction at Bath, Maine's Iron Works Shipyard, are set against the shipyard's request for a state permit that would make the work legal. Residents say that the noise is keeping them awake, and that the shipyard has not been forthcoming with information about the construction project as they had promised. At least one resident's yard is being used to monitor noise from the construction, and that same resident has circulated a petition to nearly 70 people who oppose a nighttime construction permit.

Residents in Lyons Park, Oklahoma Living Next to Interstate 44 Schedule Session to Tell Politicians They Need a Noise Wall. The Daily Oklahoman reports that residents of Lyons Park, Oklahoma, who live next to Interstate 44 are tired of waiting for a noise wall. Since the Interstate was built they have wanted a noise wall, and a 'gripe session' has been scheduled for discussion with politicians including officials from the state Department of Transportation and a local U.S. Representative. The Transportation Department says the project is still being considered, and is currently gathering noise data and estimating costs for the wall.

June 26, 1999

Construction at Springdale, Arkansas' Public Library Done at Night So Patrons Aren't Disrupted; Neighbors Aren't So Lucky. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that when the decision was made to conduct particularly noisy construction at Springdale, Arkansas' public library during the night, the idea was to avoid disruption of library patrons. Several neighbors have called the police, however, saying that the noise did disrupt them. While the Engineering Department approved the several days of work, residents say that they weren't notified. "It would have been nice if someone had called us and told us they were going to be working at night and that it would only be temporary" one resident said. The $4-million library expansion will add 24,500 square feet to the building that currently has 18,500; ground was broken in 1998, and completion is scheduled by February 2000 but may come as early as Christmas.

Dane County International Airport Near Madison Wisconsin Is Receiving Fewer Noise Complaints Since a New Runway Opened. The Capital Times reports that noise complaints received at the Dane County Regional Airport near Madison, Wisconsin are down after a new 7,200 foot runway opened last year. The newer runway is angled towards the northeast, away from dense residential areas, and will eventually be used in one third of the airport's operations. Plans to repave the 9,000 foot main runway may divert so much traffic to the newer runway so much that noise complaints will again rise. Newer, quieter planes are also helping to quiet noise from the airport.

Hospital Curtains Developed at Georgia Institute of Technology that Can Reduce Noise By Up to 12 Decibels. The Vancouver Sun reports that researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology announced that they have developed hospital curtains which can reduce noise by seven to twelve decibels by placing fabric around sheets of noise-blocking material.

Police in Denver Colorado Admit July Firecracker Complaints Aren't Top Priority. The Denver Post reports that while illegal firecrackers are the cause of many complaints around the Fourth of July, Denver police are unable to respond effectively to most. "It's frustrating to hear the noise because residents, myself included, want to get a good night's sleep," said Aurora police spokesman Bob Stef. "But we have to prioritize calls and can't respond if more serious calls keep the officers busy." It's difficult to catch violators anyway; most times residents don't know who did it, and if they do they may be hesitant to sign a complaint that could identify them to the violator.

Residents of Apache Junction, Arizona Upset at Noise from New Phoenix Airport Flight Path, Airport Officials Say Their Hands are Tied by Federal Rules. The Arizona Republic reports that more than 100 residents of Apache Junction, Arizona -- which has been experiencing noise from increasingly numerous flights using a newly revived flight path -- were told by Sky Harbor International Airport officials at a recent meeting that it's up to the federal government. A Phoenix Councilman and U.S. Representative are backing a Congressional bill that would require a noise study of the affected area.

Residents of Belfast, Maine Complain About Noise from Idling Refrigerator Trucks; Official Noise Measurements Indicate Compliance with Noise Ordinance. The Bangor Daily News reports that Penobscot Frozen Foods has been the target of recent noise complaints in Belfast, Maine. Code enforcement officers recently tested the company's property line for noise levels, and found at most 65 decibel readings, well under the permitted 75 decibels. Fifteen years ago, when a chicken-processing plant with considerably more offensive odors left the plant, the neighborhood was made up of working class folk who complained less about noise; now, the neighborhood consists of more wealthy homeowners who have registered increasing numbers of complaints.

June 27, 1999

Debate Rages Over Potential Noise Impacts of Proposed Fedex Hub at Greensboro, North Carolina's Piedmont Triad International Airport. The News & Record reports that the debate is still raging in Greensboro, North Carolina over the potential impacts of a proposed $300-million FedEx hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Already, parts of Greensboro are in the 'noise cone' of the airport, and neighbors say that the proposed hub could cause similar impacts elsewhere in the community. The hub is scheduled to open in six years, and the overwhelming majority of the opposition cite increased aircraft noise as the problem.

Limits on Noisy Nighttime "Touch and Go" Operations at Vero Beach, Florida's Municipal Airport Cause Declines in Takeoffs and Landings; Decrease May Affect Eligibility for Federal Grants. The Press Journal reports that limitations on noisy night operations at Vero Beach, Florida's Municipal Airport may affect the airport's eligibility for federal grants, including one that was expected to help build an approved $4.6 million control tower. The 95-foot tower would replace the old one, which has structural problems and technological inadequacies according to the FAA.

June 28, 1999

Natural Resources Defense Council Urges More Regulation of Supertankers and Military Sonar to Protect Marine Life from Underwater Noise. AP Online reports that the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) want stricter regulation of super tankers -- used for international shipping -- and military sonar to reduce underwater noise that may adversely affect marine life. The council says that marine creatures use their hearing "to seek food, find mates, guard their young and avoid predators."; human noise can disrupt these activities, and may even effect migration and breeding patterns. Cornell University bioacoustics expert Christopher W. Clark said of several sites including Monterey and San Diego bays where sea life is abundant, "If you just went out and listened... you're just in the middle of an acoustics traffic jam." International shipping generates a large amount of the noise pollution, but is subject to almost no regulation.

Neighbors of Los Angeles' Van Nuys Airport Live with Noise and Crashes. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that the latest airplane crash in the communities surrounding Los Angeles' Van Nuys Airport is just part of living in the flight path of America's busiest general aviation airport. This time, a twin-engine Cessna crashed into two school busses, miraculously causing only two minor injuries; the gauges had been acting strangely earlier that day, and the plane was being returned for an inspection. In recent years there have been four emergency landings in the same area. Despite the crashes, neighbors say they are more concerned about the incessant noise from airplanes that 'buzz' their homes regularly.

Report from Natural Resources Defense Council Calls for Reductions in Marine Noise to Protect Ocean Life. Greenwire reports that according to a Natural Resources Defense Council, more needs to be done to reduce noise from military sonar and supertankers. Marine animals depend on sound to find food and mates, and to protect their young; man-made noise may "fundamentally alter the ocean habitat" by disrupting the communication that marine animals live by. No new evidence is offered by the report, but it points out that whales are known to avoid noise even when it means abandoning traditional breeding grounds.

June 29, 1999

Carrollton, Texas Cancels Fireworks Display to Protect Egrets, Still Wary of Unintentional Rookery Destruction Last Year. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the city of Carrollton, Texas has canceled its annual fireworks show to avoid disturbing egrets at a nearby rookery (a traditional young-raising spot for large numbers of birds). Last year, it was fined $70,000 and paid $126,000 more for wildlife rehabilitation after essentially destroying the rookery while trying to remove large piles of droppings, killing at least 300 birds and injuring hundreds of others.

Inventor of New Noise-Filtering "Smart Curtain" Wins 2000 Pound Prize from British Standards Institution. The Press Association Newsfile reports that a 25-year-old student at the Royal Art College in London will receive a 2000 pound prize for his invention of the 'smart curtain.' The invention is a translucent rubber curtain, embedded with electronics disguised as a grid pattern, that cuts noise by up to eight decibels; it also transforms irritating noise into pleasant melodies and sounds such as the 'ocean' that you hear when putting a sea shell to your ear. The inventor is now searching for a company to back production of the curtain. The curtain is 2.4 meters by 1.2 meters, but weighs only six kilograms.

Natural Resources Defense Council Calls for Study and Regulation to Protect Sea Life from Supertanker and Sonar Noise. The Calgary Herald reports that a recent Natural Resources Defense Council report calls for more study and stricter regulations that would protect sea life from noise pollution. Human-generated noise can harm sea life, by compromising their ability "to find food and mates, to guard their young, and to avoid predators." Whales have even been known to avoid noise even if it means abandoning traditional breeding grounds. Noise contributions from super tankers -- which are subject to almost no regulation -- and military sonar are significant.

Neighbors Say Dighton, Massachusetts Power Plant Pre-Completion Equipment Testing is Too Loud. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that noise from equipment testing at a power-plant in Dighton, Massachusetts is too loud. The plant management -- which is performing last-minute tests of equipment before putting the plant online -- began construction on the $110-million facility in October of 1997, and had expected the plant to be finished by May 10. Due to equipment problems, they say the new scheduled completion date is July 16, and noise should stop by the end of the week.

New "Noise Curtain" Brings Prize for Inventor, May Revolutionize Noise Reduction Strategies. The Evening Standard reports that an industrial designer at London's Royal College of Art will receive a 2,000 pound prize from the British Standards Institution tonight for inventing the "smart curtain." The curtain is a rubber sheet embedded with electronics which reduces noise up to eight decibels, and transforms annoying noise into soothing sounds. 173,000 complaints were received by the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health Officers in 1997, and so such an invention could have a major impact on quality of life in London and elsewhere.

June 30, 1999

Complaints of Air Conditioner Noise from Neighbor of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin Municipal Building Prompts City to Build Expensive Wall. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that after a noisy air conditioner at Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin's Municipal Building drew complaints from a neighbor, the village has decided to build a wall to cut the noise. The neighbor pointed out that while the unit is 2.5 feet from his property line, the city failed to secure a variance to the 10-foot requirement. The village will spend a partial $18,600 wall, and may spend an additional $5200 if the first section isn't sufficient.

Elkhart, Michigan Mayoral Candidate and Common Council Member Wants to Toughen Local Noise Ordinance. South Bend Tribune reports that an Elkhart, Michigan common council member and Republican mayoral candidate has proposed changes to toughen the noise ordinance; common problems in the community include motorists playing loud music and having loud exhaust systems. 154 noise violations have been written already this year. The current range for fines of $25-$100 would be raised to $100-$2500. Hours of enforcement would be changed from between 9 PM and 8 AM to around the clock. Violators could be identified with three criteria: noise audible at 50 feet from the source, noise registering 83 decibels or higher 15 feet from the source, or any inherently offensive or patently obnoxious noise. The words inherently and patently were added after complaints that the language was too vague.

London Student Designs Electronic "Curtain" that Filters Unwanted Noise From Soothing Frequencies. Birmingham Evening Mail reports that a 25-year-old student at London's Royal College of Art has designed a "Smart Curtain" which combats irritating noise. The electronic device reduces sound intensity by up to eight decibels, and filters noise to allow only soothing frequencies to pass. The student received a prize of 2,000 pounds from the British Standards Institution for creating a design which promotes environmental best practice. The inventor notes that "Having control over a noisy environment makes people feel less stressed out and more comfortable."

Lord Corporation Active Noise Technology Can Reduce Aircraft Noise by 95%. Flight International reports that NVX Active Noise and Vibration Control Technology, designed by the Lord Corporation, has received approval from the FAA. The system, which has been successfully tested for a year on Air Canada flights, is designed to reduce noise by up to 25 decibels or 95% on DC-9s and MD-80s. The system also reduces vibration on cabin floors and fixtures.

National Campaign for Hearing Health Offers Four Tips to Protect Your Hearing on the Fourth of July and Beyond. PR Newswire reports that the National Campaign for Hearing Health offers four tips to protect your hearing during the upcoming Fourth of July fireworks and beyond. First, wear ear protection when you plan to be around loud noise such as fireworks. Second, discipline yourself to listen to music only as loud as necessary. Third, cover your ears when loud noise such as sirens or aircraft surprise you. Fourth, watch fireworks from a comfortable distance, or use ear protection. Fireworks can produce noise up to 190 decibels, 110 decibels higher than the point at which ear damage can begin to occur. Toxic noise such as that can lead to tinnitus, or potentially deafness.

Noise from Shifting Flight Patterns at Sky Harbor International Airport Continues to Irritate Ahwatukee Foothills' Residents; Petitions and Elected Officials Pressure FAA and Airport to Reduce Noise. The Arizona Republic reports that residents in Ahwatukee Foothills, Arizona are still being annoyed by noise from Sky Harbor International Airport; in March, the airport began increasing use of a route over the community to better balance the use of its two runways and to deal with increasing winds from the West. Officials still claim that the change only resulted in 48 more flights per day for the first eighteen days in June. At a village planning commission meeting, concerns from a U.S. Senators, a Representative, and a Phoenix Councilman, together with a petition signed by 647 residents, aimed to pressure the FAA to do something to reduce noise in the community. The FAA -- which was in attendance -- says that it is looking at some measures, but says that redirecting flights will only shift the noise burden to other communities.

Orange County, California Board of Supervisors Hear Complaints from Recent Jet-Noise Testing at El Toro Marine Base. The Orange County Register reports that more than three dozen residents turned out with their children at the last Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting to emphasize the effect that noise from a proposed new airport at the former El Toro Marine Base would have on their families. Recent jet-noise tests -- which included 25 jet takeoffs and landings -- disturbed many of these families. "My kids were outside playing when the test was going on, and they held their ears as hard as they could," said Aliso Viejo resident Rod Rangel of his daughter Chenoa, 8, and son Gabriel, 5. "It's wrong, it's wrong for our children. "

Proposed Legislation to Restrict Sound in Traditionally Musical New Orleans Square Threatens the City's Culture. The Times-Picayune prints an editorial, in which the author points out problems with the currently pending Senate Bill 909 that would limit sound levels New Orleans' Jackson Square. The law would mean that "sound producing devices" could not be used in a public place "in a manner likely to disturb, inconvenience, or annoy a person of ordinary sensibilities." Further, the sound can't be more than 55 decibels within ten feet of an entrance to a hospital or place of worship. The author notes that the ambient noise in Jackson Square is already above that number, and that someone who coughs could be tagged as a violator if the mouth was considered a 'sound producing device." Violators could get up to 30 days in jail.

Residents of Villa Park, Illinois Want Existing Noise Ordinance Strengthened to Increase Enforceability and Eliminate Late-Night Idling of Refrigerator Trucks. Chicago Tribune reports that the Villa Park, Illinois Village Board is considering changes to its noise ordinance that will allow police to crack down on drivers of refrigerator trucks who leave them idling all night. Residents near a motel lot where refrigerator trucks often idle complained at a recent board meeting. The current ordinance prohibits the trucks from running between 8 PM and 6 AM, but suggested changes would make the property owner responsible for not allowing the trucks to idle. One board member suggested putting the regulation under traffic laws, allowing easier enforceability.

Other Indexes

Aircraft Noise
Amplified Noise
Effects on Wildlife/Animals
Construction Noise
Firing Ranges
Health Effects
Home Equipment and Appliances
International News
Environmental Justice
Land Use and Noise
Civil Liberty Issues
Miscellaneous Noise Stories
Noise Ordinances
Noise Organizations Mentioned
Outdoor Events
Noise in Our National Parks/Natural Areas
Residential and Community Noise
Snowmobile and ATV Noise
Research and Studies
Technological Solutions to Noise
Transportation Related Noise
Violence and Noise
Watercraft Noise
Workplace Noise

Geographical Index

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