Chronological Index for September 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

September 2, 1999

Middletown, New Jersey Planning Board Supports Noise Ordinance That Will Limit Construction Times. The Asbury Park Press reports that Middletown, New Jersey's Planning Board Approved an ordinance that will limit night construction. The one dissenting vote was from a member who wanted stricter limits. Under the ordinance, residents will call the police to report disturbances and the police will decide whether the noise was serious enough to follow up on.

Noise and Dust from Limestone Distribution Center in Gulfport, Mississippi Angers Residents. The Advocate reports that neighbors of a Gulfport, Mississippi are bothered by dust and noise from a nearby limestone distribution center. Vulcan Materials, owned by a Florida distribution company, receives bulk material by rail and sends almost 80 loaded dump trucks over local roads on their way to the Interstate each day. The Commission has said it will look into solutions, but insists that residences have "encroached on the plant", instead of the other way around, since the business predates many of the homes. Residents insist that the plant never should have been located there to begin with.

Residents of Fayetteville, Arkansas Say Ordinance to Regulate Construction of Cellular Towers Is Weaker than Original Draft. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that residents of Fayetteville, Arkansas say that an ordinance that regulates the construction of cellular towers is weaker than the original draft. City officials claim that the ordinance limits the number of cell towers, and will encourage the use of existing towers. Residents complained that maximum heights and notification distances were increased, and the permissible noise limit was raised from no off-site noise to 50 decibels.

September 3, 1999

Bath, Maine Allows Iron Works to Continue 24-Hour Work As Long As Night Noise Limits Are Maintained Between 10 PM and 6 AM. The Associated Press State & Local Wire reports that Bath, Maine's Board of Environmental Protection Ruled that Bath Iron Works (BIW) can continue constructing its $218 million shipbuilding facility around the clock. BIW must keep quiet at night and monitor its own noise. Residents were hoping for a ban on night construction, but they concede that BIW has taken positive steps towards reducing noise. Driving piles into the riverbed will be the loudest process, but BIW will be allowed to do even that at night if noise limits are observed.

Bath, Maine Allows Iron Works to Continue 24-Hour Work As Long As Night Noise Limits Are Maintained. The Portland Press Herald reports that Bath, Maine's Board of Environmental Protection voted 8-0 that Bath Iron Works (BIW) can continue constructing its $218 million shipbuilding facility around the clock. BIW must keep quiet at night and monitor its own noise. Residents were hoping for a ban on night construction, but they concede that BIW has taken positive steps towards reducing noise. Driving piles into the riverbed will be the loudest process -- which BIW likened to inserting beach umbrellas into the sand -- but BIW will be allowed to do even that at night if noise limits are observed.

Chicago Motor Speedway Will Not Be Fined For Noise Violations While It Begins to Address the Problem. Chicago Sun-Times reports that Cicero, Illinois' Chicago Motor Speedway will not be fined the requisite $1000/event for noise violations while it hires a consultant and begins a dialogue with residents. Races and their 70,000 fans can generate noise up to 93.5 decibels -- far above the 58 decibel limit. The final race of the year will be monitored by county officials to determine the areas most affected by noise.

Columnist Muses On the Increasing Use of Amplification In Traditionally Un-amplified Musicals, Plays and Operas, and Likens the Trend to Excessively Loud Movies and TV Ads. Newsday prints a column on the increasing use of amplification in theatrical performance, noting the New York City Opera will be using amplification for the first time this season. She compares the technological progression with the increasing volume of movies -- up to an average of 110 decibels in some dramatic climaxes -- when the Royal Institute for the Deaf advises that people exposed to more than 90 decibels in the workplace wear ear protection. She also notes that TV advertisers crank the volume on their commercials. She finally returns to the business of theater, saying that amplification may encourage the growth of theater size and destroy intimate traditionally-sized venues.

Couple in Northampton, Pennsylvania Complain About Noise from Business and Are Accused of Trying to Drive Business Out of the Community. The Morning Call reports that a local couple asked the Northampton borough for help in fighting noise from Northampton Generating Company. They pointed to a noise study done last year, and the council agreed to look into the study to see whether the borough's noise ordinance is indeed being violated. Residents and council members present remembered the couple's opposition last year to smells and noise from another local business that has since been shut down; the council questioned whether they are trying to drive business from the area.

Devon, U.K. Resident Told to Quiet His Rooster After Complaint; 100 Neighbors Sign Petition Saying He Shouldn't Have To. The Press Association Newsfile reports that after a man in East Budleigh, Devon was issued a noise abatement order to quiet his rooster, over 100 of his neighbors signed a petition in support of the bird. The bird's father provoked similar complaints and was gotten rid of, but neighbors didn't want to see any further "erosion of country life." The man has darkened the rooster's cage in the early morning in response to the order, and the crowing has lessened, but he says that he will fight any further actions in court.

District Board Proposes Steeper Descent Into Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok Airport. The South China Morning Post reports that the Sha Tin Provisional District Board's Health and Environment Committee is considering a proposal for steeper aircraft descents -- already used in Britain -- at Hong Kong's Check Lap Kok airport. A committee member said that hills in the area would make it harder to correct flight path deviations inherent in steeper approaches. Since the airport opened a second runway and began round-the-clock operation, noise complaints have increased. Since then, the most disruptive northeast approach has seen less use but has not been eliminated as the committee has demanded.

Noise Consultant for Wilmette, Illinois Residents Near Edens Expressway Recommend Noise Walls and Shrubbery. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the noise consultant for Wilmette, Illinois recommends a combination of soundwalls and shrubbery to block highway noise after a year-long $100,000 study. The project -- designed to reduce the 79 decibels that those nearest Edens Expressway currently experience -- would cost $1.5 million, and the village hopes to get half of the funding from the state.

Protest of Long Island Railroad Train Whistle Draws Support From Residents and Politicians. Newsday reports that 40 people gathered at Sayville, New York's Long Island Railroad (LIRR) station yesterday to protest a loud train whistle which has gotten louder since the introduction of double-decker trains. LIRR officials defend the whistles importance in assuring safety, citing federal guidelines that require a MINIMUM of 96 decibels at 100 feet in front of the train; still, they are performing a study on the whistles. Loud sounds such as train whistles can cause hearing loss, and a temporary increase in blood pressure and weakened immune system.

Tampa International Airport Authority Include Several Steps to Reduce Noise In Their Long-Range Plans. The Tampa Tribune reports that Tampa International Airport Authority held a public meeting to discuss its long-term plans: including a $4 million budget to reduce noise. The budget will go to building a three-walled jet-engine-testing structure, and a $100,000 landing-monitor system that will identify airlines who use inappropriate runways. Expansion plans -- which is estimated to increase passenger volume from 14 million to 25 million by 2020 -- include another runway, more parking lots, renovations to a terminal, the addition of cargo facilities and widening the road leading into the airport.

Taylorsville, Utah Residents Who Say Jets Have Flown Lower in Recent Months Want Noise Levels Monitored. The Deseret News reports that 35 residents of Taylorsville, Utah attended a meeting with Salt Lake City International Airport officials to voice their concerns over increasing jet noise. They claim that jets are flying as low as 1750 feet over their neighborhoods. Airport officials say that jets are at least 2000 feet high.

September 4, 1999

Residents of a Hampton, Virginia Subdivision Feel Soundwalls Have Been Unfairly Prioritized for Newer, Fancier Neighborhoods. The Daily Press reports that residents of a subdivision in Hampton, Virginia that sits only a few blocks from Interstate 64 is itching to have soundwalls installed. Residents believe that newer subdivisions are getting quicker attention, but Virginia's Department of Transportation insists that it is interested in soundwalls for the neighborhood.

Santa Fe, New Mexico Letter to the Editor Notes Usefulness of Noise Pollution Clearinghouse Website. The Santa Fe New Mexican prints a series of letters to the editor, one of which centers on noise. The author says noise should be addressed in the city, and notes that the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse has a "very comprehensive website of hundreds of city noise ordinances." She credits her knowledge of the website to an article written last year about vibrations at a Pumice plant in Santa Fe.

Vancouver Residents Ousted from Homes by Noise from Annual Indy Race. The Vancouver Sun prints an editorial by a Vancouver resident who believes that the Molson Indy road race should be moved from the residential area where it is now held. The city gains substantial revenue and publicity from the race. Noise reaches up to 130 decibels at peak intensity, and residents want accommodations during the race; in the long term, they want the race relocated and are pursuing a lawsuit that claims their charter rights are being violated.

Writer Gets Military's Side of the Story Regarding Noisy, Low-Flying Planes. The Daily Telegraph reports that there are two sides to the story about noisy, low-flying military jets. Despite 6,000 complaints each year relating to noise from low-flying planes, pilots say the skill requires practice and is invaluable. Though in the past designated flyways were used, pilots may now fly anywhere in the country as long as they avoid certain special areas such as hospitals or civil airports; they only fly low only thinly populated areas. Planes must be at least 250 feet above the ground in most areas, but some opposition groups say this is still too dangerous to civilians. Pilots may be monitored at any time by mobile radar that allows police to determine speed and altitude. Even at legal altitudes, complaints roll in and several public relations officers are employed to answer these complaints.

September 5, 1999

National Noise Act in England Encourages Local Councils to Set Up Late-Night Teams of Noise Inspectors; Few Councils Take the Opportunity. The Independent reports that Britain's Noise Act -- which encourages local councils to set up teams of late-night noise inspectors who patrol around the clock and issue immediate fines -- has been ignored by 94% of councils who say those programs are unnecessary and expensive. The Act encourages the use of teams between 11 PM and 7 AM to respond to noise violations; noise over 35 decibels can draw an on-the-spot 100 pound fine.

Seattle Real Estate Expert Says Rights of Neighbors Regarding Noise from Building Construction Varies with Building Codes and Ordinances. The Seattle Times prints a series of questions and answers about real estate. One question asked if residents "have any rights during construction regarding noise." The columnist answers that there is a friendly way -- informally talking to the builder -- and the official way. The official way depends on building codes and local noise ordinances entirely; there are no universal 'rights' in this case.

Chicago, O'Hare Airport Neighbor Suggests a More Automated Noise Hotline. The Chicago Sun-Times prints a series of letters to the editor, one of which is noise-related. A resident near Chicago's O'Hare Airport says that the old-fashioned noise-hotline should be upgraded so callers need not be "subjected to a series of ridiculous questions" after being awakened from sleep at night. He suggests a modified form of caller ID.

Proposed Roads Across San Diego Area Canyons Intended to Reduce Traffic Pit Environmentalists Against Transportation Planners. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that many San Diego leaders are pushing to allow roads through area canyons to alleviate traffic problems. The canyons are important 'wildlife corridors' for species like Mule Deer, and often serve as natural retreats for people who want to escape the city. According to environmentalists, one canyon with a highway through it was "pushed into a slow biological decline." Another canyon which blocked a road that was proposed twenty years ago is in danger again. The canyon in question contains a huge nature preserve where hundreds of songbird species and eleven raptor species live in addition to many mule deer and other wildlife. Canyon crossings contribute to erosion problems in the canyons, and disrupt important wildlife corridors.

September 6, 1999

Neighbors of a Metal Fabrications Plant in Swansea, South Wales Are Upset By Noise. The South Wales Evening Post reports that residents living near Magnaforce Metal Fabrications Plant in Swansea, South Wales are upset by the plant's noise. Residents have noticed no reduction in noise after they talked with the business and had officials monitor plant noise. The plant manager claims that they have recently purchased a quieter machine and have reduced noisy work in the mornings an on Sundays.

Letter Writer Says Placement of Housing Developments Near DIA Airport in Aurora, Colorado Sets Stage for Future Litigation Over Noise. The Denver Rocky Mountain News prints a letter to the editor by a realtor from Aurora, Colorado. The writer is concerned that after DIA Airport was built intentionally in an area away from residential neighborhoods, new development plans will place residences there and set the stage for future litigations that taxpayers will end up paying for.

September 7, 1999

Chicago Aviation Department Publishes Booklet to Show Those Who Don't Qualify for Free Soundproofing How to Get it Done Themselves. The Chicago Sun-Times reports on several happenings around the city of Chicago, including the release of a soundproofing booklet by the Chicago Aviation Department. The booklet discusses what needs to be done and who to contact about doing the work. While the information is intended for those who don't qualify for free soundproofing due to airplane noise, a local anti-noise group said the city should be paying for more soundproofing instead of giving advice.

Phone-Answering Jobs in UK and Elsewhere May Be Dangerous to Employees' Hearing. The Times reports that people who answer telephones for a living in the UK and elsewhere may be damaging their hearing. Workers, who often sit less than two feet apart in a noisy room with over 100 other employees, experience symptoms including tinnitus, rushing sounds, and certain frequencies that cause pain. Earphones must be turned up loud because of the noisy environment, and piercing beeps indicate when a call is about to come through. Also, unexplained noise shocks -- which reach 140 decibels -- sometimes come through earphones and may cause significant damage after even one exposure.

Birmingham, UK Reporter Explains When an Annoyance Is an Official Nuisance, and How to Act Against It. The Birmingham Evening Mail prints some questions and answers regarding when an annoyance is an official nuisance in the UK, and what action can be taken. Anything that injures land or enjoyment of land is a nuisance, including smells and noise. The same noise is also more or less likely to be a nuisance depending on the time of day and the type of zone it is in. An official nuisance may result in a noise-abatement notice, and court action of the notice isn't heeded.

Elderly Gardener in Seattle, Washington Asks Noise Abatement Funds for Interstate 5 to Include Wallingford District. The Seattle Times prints a letter to the editor from an elderly gardener living beside Interstate 5 in Seattle, Washington. The writer asks that noise abatement funds earmarked for noise walls on Interstate 5 include the area in front of his home.

North Tyneside, UK's Lawsuit Against Noisy American Electronics Plant Adjourned Until Next Year. The Evening Chronicle reports that in North Tyneside, UK a lawsuit levied against an American electronics company has been adjourned until next year. A 500-signature petition from residents complaining of 24-hour noise coming from the factory caused the local council to present a noise-abatement notice, which was not heeded. The factory won the adjournment by claiming that it was currently making changes at the factory.

September 8, 1999

Neighbors of Los Angeles, California's Van Nuys Airport Say Soundproofing is Only Superficial; They Want "Elimination of Noise, Not Management". The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that citizens at a meeting of Los Angeles, California's Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council said soundproofing plans are inadequate. They said that even the best soundproofing forces them to stay indoors, and only manages the noise problem; they want elimination of noise.Airport Commissioners recently banned additional noisy Stage 2 jets from coming to the Airport, but allowed the ones currently there to stay.

Residents of Upper Saucon, Pennsylvania Petition Town Supervisors to Stop Ordinances That Would Limit Noise from Firearms and Other Sources. The Morning Call reports that 200 residents of Upper Saucon, Pennsylvania have signed a petition protesting two noise ordinances. The ordinances have already been revised once after resident protests; maximum decibel levels for industrial, residential/agricultural/conservation, and commercial zones are now set at 80, 60 and 68 depending on time of day, and 65 and 70 depending on the time of day, respectively. An original two-week limit on sighting-in hunting weapons on one's own property has been removed. Residents still feel they should be responsible for determining when they can use their firearms.

Westerville Ohio, Near Columbus' Polaris Amphitheater to Enforce Its Noise Ordinance On the Venue. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the City Council of Westerville, Ohio is considering changes to its noise ordinance which include the enforcement of noise limits on Polaris amphitheater in neighboring Columbus, Ohio. State law permits a city -- in this case Westerville -- to enforce its noise ordinances on noisy locations from an adjacent city if both cities agree. Westerville is also making changes to its ordinance to make it more enforceable. Westerville feels that Polaris has ignored their concerns up until now.

University of Puget Sound in Washington Will Extend Their Student Conduct Code to Student Behavior Off-Campus. The News Tribune reports that the University of Puget Sound in Washington will be extending its student code to off-campus student behavior. Student Government, armed with 1,250 signatures from students opposing the policy, says students are already subject to community laws off-campus. A local neighborhood council agrees, saying that preventive measures should take precedence over disciplinary ones. Complaints from community residents have said that some University students are sources of "noise, garbage, and obnoxious behavior." Anything that puts anyone in danger, damages property, or violates alcohol or drug laws could result in punishment ranging from warnings to expulsion.

Louisville, Kentucky Columnist Applauds Aldermen for Strengthening the Noise Ordinance. The Courier-Journal reports that the Aldermen of Louisville, Kentucky plan to amend the local noise ordinance to be tougher on noise from bars and cars. The Aldermen responded to a proposed wet-dry vote in the area -- designed to shut down loud bars -- by proposing the amendment. They also plan to hire a noise inspector that will monitor noise around the area.

Murfreesboro, Tennessee City Council Passes Noise Ordinance Limiting Times When Construction Noise is Permissible. The Tennessean prints several items regarding local council actions around the state of Tennessee, including one noise ordinance. Murfreesboro, Tennessee passed a noise ordinance restricting the times that construction crews can make noise in residential areas. Noise is limited to 7 AM to 8 PM on weekdays, although it can begin at 6 AM in the summer. On weekends year-round construction noise is permitted between 8 AM to 8 PM. Unacceptable noise is defined as any noise heard beyond the property line.

September 9, 1999

Kansas City Columnist Appeals to Youth to Enjoy Powerful Stereos but Respect Other People By Using Reasonable Volumes. The Kansas City Star prints a column that urges self-enforcement of reasonable volume levels on powerful car stereos. The author believes that stereos should be played at high volume: just not when others are around who will be bothered. He found several teenagers who believed that volumes should be turned down when people are around out of respect.

Mayors of Four Cities in Flight Path of Helicopters From Miramar Marines Base in San Diego, California Meet to Discuss Ways to Reduce Noise. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the mayors of four cities in the flight path of helicopters from San Diego, California's Miramar Marines Base met to discuss ways to reduce the noise. They focused on alternate flight paths and quieter helicopters.

Letters to the Editor, Including a Sun Valley, Idaho Resident Who Suggests Easements as a Solution to Potential Noise Complaints After Airport Expansion. The Idaho Statesman prints several letters to the editor, including one relating to noise. A Sun Valley, Idaho resident notes that easements -- signed by residents waiving their right to complain about jet noise -- could be the answer to quelling noise complaints near the expanding airport.

Letters to the Editor on the Issue of Helicopter Noise from Miramar Marines Base in San Diego, California. The San Diego Union-Tribune prints several letters to the editor regarding helicopter noise from Miramar Marines Base in San Diego, California. The first writer protests past letters to the editor that painted North Count residents as people who had moved near noise to begin with; the author says that he neither "moved next to an airport [nor] moved next to Interstate 15." He believes North County residents should work with East County residents to have the helicopters moved out of San Diego entirely instead of trying to limit their impact to one part of the county or another. The second writer pushes for consideration of the quickest, most direct flight paths. He says they effect the fewest people even if they pass over the North County where the "squawk factor" (complaint intensity) is higher. The third writer says that in sixty years of living in the North County, she has never been bothered by helicopter noise as much as by other neighborhood noise such as lawnmowers. She believes that another non-noise-related agenda motivates the complainers. The fourth and final writer has problems with the facts that the Marines will consider pilot safety above all other factors and that they will have final say in determining flight paths. She believes that safety of pilots should be balanced with protection of civilians, and that unbiased professionals would be better to decide on the flight paths.

Three Residents Near San Diego, California's Miramar Marine Base Give Their Opinion on Proposed New Flight Paths for Noisy Helicopters. The San Diego Union-Tribune prints three opinions from residents near San Diego, California's Miramar Marine Base about proposed new flight paths for noisy helicopters. The first opinion, from the second district supervisor, centers on the importance of maintaining safety despite any possible noise impacts. She also emphasizes the importance of working together with the military instead of creating a confrontational situation. She says that shoving noise from the North County to the East County is not the solution, and notes that the military will consider Eastern routes but will not guarantee that it will use them in the end. The second opinion focuses on the fact that most people who are complaining about noise knew they were moving near an airport. The third opinion renames MARCH (Move Against Relocating Copters Here) to WHINE (We Hope Itineraries are Nudged East) and says that the more urban North County treat East County residents as if they were hicks; the author says that copters would be far more disruptive in the rural East County than the more developed North County.

Milton, Massachusetts Supports New Runway at Boston's Logan Airport That Will More Evenly Spread Aircraft Noise Over Surrounding Communities. The Patriot Ledger reports that the selectmen of Milton, Massachusetts have decided to support a new $22 million, 5,000-foot runway at Boston's Logan Airport. The runway is intended to reduce noise over certain communities including Milton. Other communities, which will experience increased noise levels -- though still under goals that were set by the communities in the 1980s -- oppose the runway. The new runway will reduce traffic on two other runway in particular, which are currently used heavily because they can handle more traffic in certain weather conditions -- thus reducing delays.

Mine Safety and Health Administration Issues New Standards to Protect Miners from Prolonged Exposure to Dangerous Noise. The U.S. Newswire reports that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will now require mine operators to monitor noise exposure and also make training, hearing tests, and hearing protection available to miners who are exposed to more than an 85 decibel average over eight hours. Hearing loss is one of the top occupational hazards among miners, and may reduce safety in the workplace.

Tipp City, Ohio Letter to the Editor Opposing Expansion at Emery Worldwide Airport. The Dayton Daily News prints several letters to the editor, including one on noise pollution from Tipp City, Ohio. The author says that expansion at Emery Worldwide Airport will increase a mild annoyance to an unbearable burden. He says that passenger volume had actually decreased in recent years, so the claim that residents should have 'expected' this expansion is wrong.

City Council Proposes Limits on Delivery Times After Noise and Fumes from Idling Delivery Trucks at a Rocklin, California Food Store Prompt Complaints. The Sacramento Bee reports that delivery trucks at a Rocklin, California grocery store have prompted the city council to propose limits on delivery times. Noise and exhaust has bothered residents, and the city council is considering gates that would keep delivery trucks out after certain hours. Traffic was also a concern, and a stop sign has been installed on the road to the store to deter speeding.

Albuquerque, New Mexico Mayor Wants Airport Takeoffs to Turn South Instead of North to Avoid Communities. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico wants flights to always avoid northern communities by turning to the South after takeoff instead of North. The FAA is resisting the change, saying that routing all takeoffs to the South may cause safety problems, since many landings arrive from the South. Older planes, whether outfitted with noise-reducing hush-kits or not, gain altitude less quickly and cause the worst noise impact; most of these planes already take off to the South. Also, the North-South Runway closed in 1997 and helped to reduce the noise impact on the Northern communities.

Police in Birmingham, U.K. Institute Rapid Response Team to Answer Late-Night Noise Complaints. The Birmingham Evening Mail reports that police in Birmingham, U.K. have instituted a rapid response team to respond to late-night noise complaints. The team, which will respond to calls up until 1 AM, will have the authority to "initiate prosecutions" and seize sound amplification equipment. A pilot-program saw 167 noise complaints answered over 25 weeks, resulting in five prosecutions and the seizure of equipment.

Corona, California Building Department Tightens Enforcement that Forbids Early Morning Construction Noise. The Press-Enterprise reports that the Corona, California Building Department has been cracking down on construction noise before 7 in the morning. Hot summer days increase mid-day breaks and pressure builders for time, and earlier this summer work resulted in 20 complaints due to construction noise; this is triple the complaints of a normal month. The Police Department takes early-morning complaints since the Building Department is not yet open. Through further cooperation, police can cite violators for misdemeanors while the Building Department can reevaluate building permits if it comes to that.

Potential Noise from Bands at a Proposed Venue for Social Events Concerns Residents of Lookout Mountain, Georgia; Concerns May Spark Creation of a Noise Ordinance. The Chattanooga Times reports that a request by a company in Lookout Mountain, Georgia to rezone a large residential estate so it may host social events there has residents concerned about noise. The city will consider a noise ordinance at their next meeting that might quell fears that there will be no noise limits imposed on the venue. The owners of the business say they planned all along to set noise limits if their rezoning request is approved.

Soundproofing Company Opens New Research Facility in Scotland. The Scotsman reports that "one of the most advance facilities of its kind in Europe to improve and develop acoustic products for the construction industry opened this month" in Perthshire, Scotland. The company will market floor and wall-insulation products that will help developers market their buildings and help homeowners cope with noise.

South Gloucestershire, U.K. Council Institutes a Noise Response Team During Peak Noise-Complaint Hours. The Bristol Evening Post reports that the South Gloucestershire, U.K. Council will create a noise response team to deal with noise complaints during peak times. Council officers will operate in pairs, and will be available to respond to noise complaints during peak times. Violations will include "noisy parties, loud music, and barking dogs".

Cranston, Rhode Island's Zoning Board Denies Burger King Drive-Up Window After Residents Complain About Potentially Increased Noise and Traffic. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Cranston, Rhode Island's Zoning Board denied Burger King's request for a drive-up window. The restaurant gathered 800 signatures that support the window, saying that many customers have asked for a drive-up window in the last two years; they maintain that concerns over increased traffic and drive-thru-speaker noise is unfounded. Residents say traffic is already backed up from cars turning into the restaurant, and fumes cause them to close their windows. Similar public outcry in 1997, when the restaurant was first opened, forced the restaurant to withdraw its request at that time.

Proposed Racetrack in Aruba Opposed By Environmentalists. The Associated Press Worldstream reports that a proposed $15 million racetrack in Aruba is being opposed by environmentalists concerned about air pollution, noise, and the possibility of the track's weight and vibrations collapsing a phosphate mine below the track. Environmentalist supporters will honk their car horns at certain times on Monday, and sport T-shirts and bumper stickers. The Environmental Director in the area said the mine shafts are strong enough to support the track, and claims that the regular wind on the island will reduce noise to the level of a vacuum cleaner

Public Meeting in Goshen, Indiana to Discuss Limiting Train Whistle Noise. The South Bend Tribune reports that a public meeting in Goshen, Indiana began a dialogue between city officials and residents on how to reduce noise from train whistles. Residents believe the whistles to have gotten shriller, louder, and less consistent in their number and pattern. Rail officials admitted that engineers sometimes use distinctive 'signatures', "personalizing them or using them to communicate with other engineers." While the Mayor noted that whistles can not be totally banned, new state legislation allows communities to regulate whistles at crossings with both lights and gates. Other communities have used measures such as curbing, vertical delineators, and nets. The council has rejected a resolution to regulate whistles on the local level, but has said it will consider an ordinance if a petition is presented. The Federal Rail Administration also intends to create new standards, which could trump any local ordinance.

Automated Horn System that Places Warning Horns at Rail Intersections Instead of On Trains Tested in Boca Raton, Florida. The Sun-Sentinel reports that residents of Boca Raton, Florida seemed enthusiastic after City-Council-sponsored tests of an Automated Horn System at rail crossings. The system places horns at the intersection and focuses them only on the intersection. City Council is considering a free six-month trial of the $15,000 systems. Florida has had night-time bans on train whistles in the past; after being judged too dangerous, the bans are being allowed again if $200,000 four-quadrant gates are installed to prevent cars from sneaking around the gates. Boca Raton is not near the top of the state's priority list for receiving the gates, and so the Automated Horn System is an attractive option.

September 10, 1999

SANE Organization in Tipp City, Ohio Holds First Public Meeting; the Group Opposes Runway Expansion at Dayton International Airport. The Dayton Daily News reports that Tipp City, Ohio's Stop Airport Noise and Expansion (SANE) group held its first public meeting this week. The group was formed in June to oppose Dayton International Airport's expansion plan, which the group thinks will worsen noise and fuel-dumping problems. The group, which includes people with aviation and environmental engineering expertise, has proposed efficiency measures that would make the expansion plan unnecessary.

Darlington, U.K Residents Upset at Noise from Racetrack Even Though the Track is Complying. The Northern Echo reports that Darlington, U.K. residents near Croft Circuit racetrack are still upset at noise levels even after the track implemented noise-reduction measures. 600 complaints over the last three years prompted a 1997 abatement notice, but the notice was withdrawn after the track agreed to noise-reduction measures. The district council has determined that a nuisance still exists even with the measures in place, and plans to pursue another abatement notice.

Addison, Illinois Officials Approve Noise Study to Determine Potential Effectiveness of a Noise Wall on Interstate 290. The Chicago Tribune reports that officials in Addison, Illinois have approved a noise study which will determine whether a noise wall on Interstate 290 could effectively reduce traffic noise in the community. The study will cost $30,000, and if a noise wall is deemed effective, officials say they will pursue their half of the wall cost -- which would be about $500,000 -- from the state's FIRST program and other state grants.

Addison, Illinois Officials Approve Study on I-290 Highway Noise. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that Addison, Illinois officials have approved a $25,000 study to determine whether a noise wall along Interstate 290 would help muffle noise. Officials are past their fears that they may not be able to obtain money for the wall if it were deemed necessary; several state grant programs are available and several community projects may be postponed.

Federal Railway Administration Agrees to Review Applications for Grade Crossing Changes; Morris County, New Jersey Residents Are Eager for Changes that Would Allow Trains to Lay Off Their Horns. The Record reports that the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) has agreed to review applications by Morris County, New Jersey communities -- pending for years -- to install devices at railroad grade crossings that would eliminate the need for early-morning horn blasts. Congress asked the FRA in 1994 to design safety rules that would eliminate the need for horns at grade crossing without compromising safety. Certain devices make it virtually impossible for cars to get onto the tracks when a train is coming: barriers that separate lanes, surveillance cameras, and four-gate systems. Standard regulations by the FRA could come out any time from three months to ten years from now.

Rehoboth, Rhode Island's Zoning Board to Rule on Permit for Golf Pro-Shop and Restaurant in Residential/Agricultural District; Golf Course Has Already Been Approved. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that Rehoboth, Rhode Island's zoning board of appeals will rule on a permit that would grant Eugene Dumontier the right to put a golf pro shop and restaurant on his 140 acre property. When his golf course was approved, and his shop and restaurant denied, he appealed the decision; a judge has now said that the Board must evaluate traffic, noise, lighting, parking, and safety more thoroughly before such a denial. Dumontier has agreed to put up a structure to reduce noise, and said he will look into relocating the parking lot.

Residents of Hamilton, New Zealand Seem Satisfied After Dairy Plant Promises to Stop Noisy Generator Testing Until Soundproofing is Installed. The Waikato Times reports that in Hamilton, New Zealand, a dairy factory will stop testing of a noisy generator while it installs soundproofing. The fifty residents who attended a public meeting called by the factory had complained of the noise, but seemed satisfied that the factory was being responsible in its decision to hold off on testing until soundproofing was installed.

Letters to the Editor, Including a Virginia Beach Resident Who Believes Navy Pilots Training at Oceana Naval Base Have the Right to Make Noise in Preparation for Putting Their Lives on the Line. The Virginian-Pilot prints several letters to the editor, including one from a Virginia Beach resident in support of Oceana Naval Base training flights. The author admits that he does not live in the affected area, and if he did he acknowledges he would be 'on edge.' However, he asserts that military personnel who put their lives on the line should be allowed to make noise if it is necessary for their training.

New York State Department of Transportation To Perform Noise Study; Official Clarifies Confusion Over Construction on the Northway. The Times Union prints a response to a prior letter to the editor regarding noise on New York State's Northway. A state Department of Transportation (DOT) official says that the DOT will be performing a noise study on the Northway in Colonie to determine if there is a need for soundwalls in the area.

Albany Assemblyman Opposes Soundwalls Designed to Block Train Whistles at Stations and Supports Them at a New Railyard. Newsday reports that an Albany, New York Assemblyman disagrees with residents' pleas for soundwalls at train stations, but supports them at a new railyard. He says the horns are necessary to keep people safely away from moving trains, and that people should better insulate their homes if they are so worried about noise. Conversely, he notes that the new Port Jefferson rail yard -- which was opposed by nearby residents -- should be the subject of an immediate noise study and should close while soundwalls are erected if they are deemed necessary.

Gloucestershire, U.K Resident Writes Letter to the Editor Noting that Noise from Gloucestershire Airport Is Increasing Not From Passenger Flights But Because of Training and Recreational Flights. The Gloucestershire Echo prints a letter to the editor from a Springbank, U.K resident. The author is responding to a prior letter, and says that although residents that live near airports must expects some noise, recent increases are in excess of what one should expect from an airport of its size. She believes that recreational and training flights -- not passenger flights -- are largely responsible for the increases, and thinks they should be taken elsewhere.

Rolling Meadows Community Near Chicago O'Hare Airport Gains Full Membership to Noise Commission, Hopes Money for Soundproofing Will Follow. The Chicago Tribune reports that Rolling Meadows, Illinois has been granted full-member status on the Chicago O'Hare Airport Noise Compatibility Commission. The decision was made after data showed the community to be in O'Hare's 'affected area' by FAA standards, and means that Rolling Meadows may have more access to soundproofing money. The commission makes recommendations to the Chicago's Department of Aviation about which homes and other buildings may need soundproofing.

Rolling Meadows Community Near Chicago's O'Hare Airport Is Now a Member of the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission. Chicago Daily Herald reports that Rolling Meadows, a community near Chicago's O'Hare Airport, has been admitted to the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission: the body that decides how and where soundproofing dollars will be spent. Based on 1997 noise-contour maps, many other communities have also been invited to become members. Locals are pleased, although they know that most money will still go to communities closer to the airport. One resident said he hoped the community would use their new status to oppose runway expansion

Hong Kong Government Proposal Designed to Evenly Distribute Noise by Limiting Night-Time Flight Activity to the Southern Runway Is Blocked by Southern Suburb. The Hong Kong Standard reports that one southern suburb near Hong Kon's Airport blocked a government plan to limit all night-time air traffic to the use of the South runway. The measure was intended to limit the noise in northern suburbs -- where the noise is generally louder -- by shunting it to the quieter suburbs in the south. The southern suburb disagreed, saying that "Residents in both [communities] can at least share the noise burden when both runways are used."

Torbay, U.K. Railway Agrees to Limit Tree-cutting -- Necessary Every Year Along the Tracks -- to Daytimes on Monday through Saturday. The Herald Express reports that tree-cutting along railroad tracks in Torbay, U.K. must now be performed between 7:30 AM and 10 PM on non-Sunday mornings. It normally takes up to four days of work with flailing machines along the seven-mile section of track to finish the job. Work at night, necessitated by train schedules, has prompted resident complaints. The railway was originally slapped with a noise abatement order, but the last minute deal avoided the need for an appeal.

Trade Officials Urge European Union to Revisit Regulation that Discriminates Against U.S. Planes with Hushkits. The Financial Times reports that the U.S. undersecretary of commerce asked the European Union (EU) to withdraw a regulation that restricts some U.S. aircraft -- outfitted with noise-dampening hushkits -- from flying in the EU. The U.S. could lose $1.5 billion if the measure -- which would prevent hushkitted aircraft from flying to the EU by May of 2002 if they hadn't operated in the EU prior to May 1999 -- is put in place. The regulation was intended to phase out noisier aircraft over the densely populated EU, but the U.S. claims that the agreement doesn't meet international standards, since U.S. aircraft would be discriminated against while other noisier aircraft still operated.

Greenwood, Indiana City Council to Consider Raising the Fine for Noise Ordinance Violation from $15. The Indianapolis News reports on several local issues including tax abatement, property taxes, and noise. After complaints from an elderly resident about excessively loud car stereos, the city council is considering an increase in the current $15 fine for noise violations. Police receive frequent noise complaints but fines are too low to effectively deter violators.

Austin Approves $14.8 Million for Noise Abatement at City's New Airport. The Austin American-Statesman reports that Austin, Texas' city council has approved $14.8 million for noise abatement at the new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Residents will have the option of having the city buy their house, soundproof it, or do nothing. Many people who have lived there for years have mixed feelings because they don't want to move. Nevertheless they will be escaping the "cracked walls, broken windows" and pollution that were mentioned in their complaints. The city is acting even though federal noise limits that require action have not been reached in most of the neighborhoods. The plan is part of their "Fly Quiet" program, which has already designated southern takeoffs during the day and moved four schools further from the airport.

Two Residents Take Opposing Views Of a New "Early Alert" System Proposed By Virginia Beach's Oceana Naval Base to Help Citizens Avoid Jet Noise. The Virginian-Pilot prints letters to the editor from two Virginia Beach residents regarding jet noise from Oceana Naval Base. The first resident applauds the proposed plan, which would allow residents to take measures in preparation for expected jet noise. He still believes that the city council needs to establish a noise committee with disaffected residents, and be tougher on the Navy when they move louder jets into the area. The second resident applauds a plan to fly jets higher -- this lessening noise -- but says early warning for noise is irrelevant. He says "Noise is noise, and 108 decibels is just as loud when you know it's coming as it is when it surprises you."

September 14, 1999

Anchorage, Alaska Resident Worries that Permit to Fill Wetlands at Airport Will Destroy Environment and Neighborhoods. The Anchorage Daily News prints an article written by a resident who is worried about a requested 10-year permit that would allow the Anchorage International Airport to fill most of the wetlands remaining on its land. Officials say competition requires growth, and critics worry about negative impacts to the environment and the community. The author urges the withdrawal of the permit request, and the drafting of an Environmental Impact Statement, which is not currently planned.

Annapolis, Maryland Passes New Noise Ordinance. The Capital reports on a new noise ordinance in Annapolis, Maryland. It applies to amplified music, shouting, and loud vehicles. A noise will be considered a violation if it can be heard fifty feet from the source.

FAA Asks Congress to Hold Off on Filing Complaints Against EU's Anti-Hushkit Legislation, Saying that Productive Negotiations for Next Generation of Noise Standards May Encourage EU to Withdraw Legislation Themselves. Air Transport Intelligence reports that the FAA has asked Congress to hold off on filing an official complaint against the European Union (EU) and its recent legislation that bans new planes from using hushkits to meet noise limits after May 2000. The EU is eager for U.S. participation in the development of new noise standards, and may be willing to withdraw their legislation if a proposed standard is being developed to otherwise address their concerns about noise. The anti-hushkit legislation -- as it now stands -- would prevent the addition of noisy, hush-kitted planes to European fleets after May 2000.

Legislators West of Burbank, California's Airport Ask FAA to Kill Expansion Plan That Would Ban Eastern Takeoffs; Some Support It Saying Eastern Takeoffs are Unsafe, Others Say the Ban Protects Upper-Class Burbank and Glendale Residents to the East. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that a deal reached between Burbank, California and its resident airport is being challenged by legislators to the West. Los Angeles legislators say their constituents would get an unfair share of aircraft noise under a ban on eastern takeoffs, but proponents say mountains, runway length, and air-traffic patterns make eastern takeoffs unsafe.

Residents in Worcestershire, U.K. Oppose Opening Local Police's Firing Range to Outsiders, Thus Allowing More Noise. The Birmingham Evening Mail reports that residents in Worcestershire, U.K. oppose the proposed lifting of a rule at the local police's firing range that would allow outsiders to train there. Officials say that training with other area officers is important for public safetey, but critics don't want noise to increase.

Some Say Burbank, California's Expansion Deal With Airport is Ruined By Unfair Ban on Eastern Takeoffs; Others Say Safety Concerns Makes Ban Necessary. The Los Angeles Times reports that three Los Angeles congressmen have written the FAA, asking them to kill a deal between Burbank and its airport. The congressmen claim that a ban on eastern takeoffs -- presented as part of the deal -- is unfair since the ban would direct most air traffic over Western communities and almost none over Burbank and Glendale.

September 15, 1999

Activists in San Antonio, Texas Hope Noise Compatibility Study Will Bring Airport Up to Speed on Noise Reduction Initiatives. The San Antonio Express-News reports that a current noise compatibility study around San Antonio International Airport in Texas has residents hoping for relief from aircraft noise. Local organizations believe that alternating takeoff patterns and faster climbing are among the cheapest, easiest, ways to reduce noise immediately. A 5-house pilot soundproofing project will help determine whether the federal government will fund up to 80% of a soundproofing initiative at the airport.

Cedarburg, Wisconsin Automotive Company Gets Last Chance to Comply with Noise Ordinance Before Prosecution. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the Common Council of Cedarburg, Wisconsin is giving Amcast Automotive its last chance to comply with the local noise ordinance before prosecution.

Counter-top Factory in Glendale, Arizona Irritating Residents with Noise. The Arizona Republic reports that residents living near a Glendale, Arizona counter-top company are being annoyed by the noise from a 40-foot dust-collecting tower. The company counters with a claim that they have already voluntarily built a wall around the tower. Residents, however, say that the wall simply makes the sound reverberate more strongly. The company's noise studies assert that noise levels from residents' cooling systems are louder than noise from the plant. The city is planning a separate two-month investigation into the noise.

Delta and USAir Announce Phasing-In of Quieter Phase 3 Jets to Reduce Maintenance Costs, Fuel Needs, and Noise at New York City's LaGuardia Airport. Newsday reports that Delta Air Lines plans to add 18 Stage 3 jets to its shuttle service from LaGuardia Airport to Washington D.C. and Boston. The new jets will help reduce noise levels, will reduce fuel needs by one-third, and reduce required maintenance. 86% of all aircraft subject to the federal law are already quiet enough: due to mufflering equipment or a quieter design. The FAA says that more than twice the number of passengers that flew in 1975 will fly this year, but the number of residents who will be affected by similar noise levels will drop by over ten times.

Navy Pilot Objects to Sarcastic Tone of Letters Complaining About Noise From Navy Jets at Oceana Naval Base in Virginia Beach. The Virginian-Pilot prints a letter from a Navy pilot who objects to recent letters that complained about jet noise from Virginia Beach's Oceana Naval Base. He says that the "cavalier attitude and sarcasm" of the letters was shocking. He suggests that her admitted desire to "discuss the merits of The Poisonwood Bible while eating quiche" in a comfortable, upper-income home is trivial next to the importance of the military's role in Kosovo and in protecting our country.

New Ordinance and Enforcement Official in Louisville, Kentucky Can Impose $1000 Fines for Noise Measuring Over 45 Decibels On Neighboring Property. The Courier-Journal reports that a new noise ordinance in Louisville, Kentucky will forbid noises of over 45 decibels as measured from a neighboring property. Fines could reach $1000, and may be accompanied by a 60 day jail term. The ordinance was drafted in response to complaints about noise from loud music at nightclubs.

Opinion From Anchorage Resident Says that a Local Group -- Backed By State and National Environmental Organizations -- Is Wrong to Fight Expansion at Anchorage International Airport. The Anchorage Daily News prints an opinion from an Anchorage, Alaska resident who believes that a local group fighting expansion at Anchorage International Airport is wrong. He notes their affiliation with the Alaska Center for the Environment and the National Wildlife Federation, and says that concern over "a few acres of crummy bog that is of no value except to some Canada geese and an occasional moose" is overblown. The writer says that the group -- which centers on noise although its primary agenda is environmental -- should recognize the commercial importance of the airport. They aren't aware, apparently, that this noise issue was one of the loud and whiny complaints years ago when the north-south runway was first proposed. Residents of a little subdivision at the south end of the new runway raised holy hoopla and tried to block the construction of what has become, obviously, a vital part of Anchorage's commercial life.

Residents of Studio City, California Criticize Burbank's Airport Deal -- Which Bans Eastern Takeoffs -- and Ask Congressional Representatives to Help Kill the Deal and Spread Noise More Evenly. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that residents of Studio City, California are upset over a deal that the city of Burbank cut with the Burbank Airport. The deal approves the airport's expansion plan in exchange for a ban on takeoffs over Burbank. Studio City officials say that a ban that was previously instituted on eastern takeoffs was due to the proximity of the terminal to the runway; expansion and renovation would eliminate that reason as justification for the ban. In addition, the deal would allow the Airport to forego a night-flight curfew and would also allow the addition of two gates to the existing fourteen in phase two of construction.

Study Says that Growth at Los Angeles' Van Nuys Airport Has Stimulated Local Economy; Residents Say the Study Didn't Include Negative Impacts on Property Values. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that a new study shows that growth at Los Angeles' Van Nuys Airport has stimulated the local economy. Residents say the study did not take noise-induced property value reduction. The airport is asking for the renewal of variances which allow it to exceed noise standards, and already has plans to spend $15 million to soundproof 150 homes and 900 apartments that are affected by aircraft noise.

Union, New Jersey Politician Urges Unity Among Residents in Supporting a Live Test of Ocean Routing for Aircraft, Saying It Will Reduce Noise. The Asbury Park Press prints several letters to the editor, including one from a Union, New Jersey politician who asks for support of a live test of ocean routing for aircraft. Ocean routing is intended to reduce noise over communities, and the writer says that New Jersey residents should unite in supporting a policy that could benefit them all.

September 16, 1999

Center Rumble Strip Designed to Reduce Head-On Collisions on Bolton, Connecticut's Route 6 Irritates Neighbors with Noise. The Hartford Courant reports that a rumble strip installed in the center of Route 6 in Bolton, Connecticut is causing irritating noise for residents. Cars and trucks tend to ride the strip all along its length, and residents claim that the rumble strip -- while a good idea - is causing too much noise and is not the answer.

Delta Announces Quieter Fleet Will Be Used Between Washington DC, Boston, and New York City Airports. The Daily News reports that Delta Air Lines will use new planes in their shuttle service between Boston, New York, and Washington. The new planes are twelve times quieter than the old planes, and should reduce noise for Queens residents.

Los Angeles' Van Nuys Airport Applies for Permit to Allow Continued Operation Above State Noise Limits; Anti-Noise Activists Ask for Permit Stipulations Requiring Stronger Commitments to Reducing Noise. The Daily News of Los Angeles reports that Los Angeles' Van Nuys Airport is applying for a permit that would allow it to continue operating above state-mandated noise levels. Noise critics want conditions to be imposed on the permit such as flight path restrictions for helicopters and a commitment to phasing out -- not just restricting -- noisy Stage 2 jets. Airport officials claim that they have already taken steps to reducing noise, and will continue to without "state-imposed conditions".

Mason, Ohio Strengthens Noise Ordinance to Cover Loud Car-Stereos in Daytime. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Mason, Ohio recently revised their noise ordinance to include noise that occurs during the day. After residents complained about the daytime noise, a new amendment includes daytime noise from car stereos. Fines could exceed $100. Noise "plainly audible" fifty feet from a car is considered a violation. Some council members were concerned that the law over-regulated noise.

New Noise Ordinance in Montgomery, Illinois to Be Enforced By Police Noise Meters. The Chicago Tribune reports that a new noise ordinance passed in Montgomery, Illinois will levy fines from $50 to $500 for noises over 60 decibels during the day and over 55 decibels at night. Lawn equipment will be exempt during the day and emergency vehicles will be exempt at all times. Complaints have been increasing in Montgomery in recently years, tending to center around live bands and car stereos.

Noise and Light from Bus Depot in Bath, UK is Disturbing Residents; Local Planning Officer Says Mutual Compromise is Only Solution. The Bath Chronicle reports that a bus depot in Bath, UK is upsetting residents with nighttime noise and light. The company did not consider the potential disturbance that could be caused by the lights before they put them in, as they were required to do. Planning officials say the site is not the best for the depot -- which includes an all-night maintenance building -- but claim that the depot is a benefit to the whole community. They admit that the lights are bothersome, but that some noise is inevitable due to the necessary maintenance building.

Noise-Weary Residents From Two More Communities in Quebec Joined Class Action Suit Against Two Canadian Railways. The Gazette reports that at a public hearing in Cote St. Luc, Quebec regarding railway noise, dozens of residents learned about a class action suit that they may be able to join. The suit, instigated by a man in a nearby community, will try to force the railways to compensate residents for the noise and reduce noise and pollution. Currently, the man is asking for $25,000 in damages. A similar case was recently won against CN, ruling that the rail company must reduce noise.

Politicians in North Yorkshire, U.K. Push for Resurfacing of Highway Bypass that Could Reduce Noise for Residents. The Northern Echo reports that the government in North Yorkshire, U.K. has agreed to study the possibility of resurfacing a particularly noisy concrete bypass. Normally resurfacing would be considered only after seven years, but the bypass may be eligible earlier if it is deemed to be in a "particularly sensitive location."

Residents and State Officials Near Boca Raton Disagree on Noise Walls. On the Turnpike, Residents Who Want Walls Won't Get Them; On State Route 7 Walls Are Planned Despite Resident Protests. The Palm Beach Post reports that near Boca Raton, Florida, residents and officials can't agree on the subject of noise walls. On the turnpike, residents want noise walls but the state claims that not enough residents are affected by traffic noise. On State Route 7, the state plans to erect noise walls despite protests from many residents over the walls' appearance. The double standard is caused by different sources of funding.

Several Letters to the Editor Label Past Letters that Complained About Jet Noise from Virginia Beach's Oceana Naval Base as Whiny. The Virginian-Pilot prints several letters to the editor that label past writers -- who complained about jet noise from Virginia Beach's Oceana Naval Base -- as whiny. They discuss the fact that the base was here before developments, and question whether the tourists could ever be considered as important as the Navy.

September 17, 1999

Anchorage, Alaska Resident Charged With Disorderly Conduct for Operating a Bug Zapper. The Anchorage Daily News reports that a man in Anchorage, Alaska has been charged with disorderly conduct after a neighbor complained about the noise from his bug zapper. The owner also sells bug zappers, and notes that bugs must be zapped throughout the night to be effectively controlled. Members of the local Assembly say that while the charge may be legitimate, it should have been settled without the government. According to city officials, sound-absorbing panels installed around the zapper reduces noise to acceptable levels.

Bon Secours-Venice Hospital Near Sarasota, Florida Works to Lessen Noise from Air Conditioners and Generators. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that 24 residents met with officials from Bon Secours-Venice Hospital near Sarasota, Florida to discuss ways that noise from the hospital could be reduced. The hospital's air conditioners and cooling towers make noise all the time, and 6 AM testing of emergency generators also causes disturbances. The hospital plans to take steps towards reducing the noise including a fence around the air conditioner and late-morning testing of the generators.

Cleveland, Ohio Boat Show to Include Courtesy Boat-Motor Noise Tests. The Plain Dealer reports reports on several of Cleveland's upcoming sporting events, including a large boat show on the lake. The show will include courtesy engine-noise tests.

Continental Replaces All Older Jets with Newer, Quieter Ones at Cleveland, Ohio's Hopkins International Airport. The Plain Dealer reports that Continental Airlines has replaced all of its older, noisier jets at Cleveland, Ohio's Hopkins International Airport with newer, quieter ones. The article notes that the airline decided to replace its older jets because of new noise regulations, but also because they expect to save $100 million each year in maintenance costs on the 103 aircraft they expect to replace nationwide. Local politicians are pleased with the step, although they worry that increased traffic after the 2002 completion of a new runway will keep the noise problem from getting better

DuPage County, Near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, Debating Whether to Expand O'Hare or Build a Third Regional Airport; Concerns Over Expanding O'Hare Shifting from Noise to Safety. The Chicago Tribune reports that residents and politicians in DuPage county, Illinois near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport are debating the question of how to handle a doubling of air traffic at O'Hare in the next twenty years: expand the airport, or build a third regional airport. Viewpoints of regional politicians center on issues from local safety concerns, to regional air-capacity concerns, to national infrastructure concerns. Those who want a new airport are less concerned with noise -- which was the central concern for many years -- and more worried about dangerously-crowded skies and runways.

Dubuque, Iowa Council Members Ride in Big Rigs and Decide that "Jake Brakes" Shouldn't Be Outlawed; Instead, Police Should Ticket Truckers Whose Brakes are Loud from Lack of Maintenance. The Telegraph Herald reports that city council members in Dubuque, Iowa recently took a ride in big rigs to hear the noise caused by "jake brakes." The council members reported that the brakes are only noisy when not maintained properly. Instead of the proposed ban on the brakes, a noise ordinance was passed to ticket truckers who did not maintain the brakes properly.

Louisville, Kentucky Adopts New Noise Ordinance. The Courier-Journal reports that the Louisville, Kentucky Board of Aldermen adopted a tougher new noise ordinance that will carry $1,000 fines and 60-day jail terms. Violators will include those with loud dogs, car stereos, loud garbage collection, and loud bars. Police plan to buy several $600 noise meters to assist in enforcement.

Major Entertainers are Forgoing Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand Because Night Performances Are Limited to Six Yearly. The Evening Post reports that WestPac Trust stadium in Wellington, New Zealand is losing the chance to host major performers because of a rule that limits night performances to six each year. The six are already booked, owing to several unusual opportunities to book world-class acts, and stadium officials say that any other promoters who are turned down because of the rule may be reluctant to try again next year. They claimed that the city will no longer be known as a world-class venue, and the community will lose millions when people who normally travel there to see concerts stop coming.

Nevada Senators Add Rider to Spending Bill That Would Delay Noise Restrictions Planned for Grand Canyon National Park. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Nevada senators added a rider to an Interior spending bill that would delay implementation of new noise limits in Grand Canyon National Park. The senators say that air tour operators only want time to refute the methods used by the Park Service: methods they say are flawed. Environmentalists consider the rider a simple delay tactic, to be used to find other ways to reject the limits. In developing the limits, the Park Service is trying to comply with a 1987 congressional mandate to restore natural quiet to the park.

Noise from Gas-to-Energy Plant at Naperville, Illinois' Landfill Annoys Residents; County Installs Newer Mufflers to No Avail. The Chicago Daily Herald reports that turbine mufflers -- designed to reduce noise from a gas-to-energy plant at Naperville, Illinois' landfill -- have created no noticeable reduction. According to residents, no noticeable reduction has occurred. After the county learned from the muffler manufacturers that noise is only reduced 1/3 of the reported amount, they decided to call in a sound engineer to decide if anything else can be done.

Residents Fear Noise from Proposed Raceway in Lake Elsinore, California. The Press-Enterprise reports that 140 residents near the proposed site of a new $34 million raceway project in Lake Elsinore, California met with builders to express their concerns over noise. Residents are worried about the noise as well as additional pollution and traffic. Builders believe that a 75-foot berm around the racetrack will negate noise problems, and point out that the project would bring 2,000 jobs and many tax dollars to the community. The council won't decide on the project for several months.

Residents in West Boca, Florida Frustrated with Noise Study that Says Noise Walls Are Too Ineffective and Expensive to Be Built; State Representatives Say Don't Give Up. The Sun-Sentinel reports that the "bottom line" of a recent public meeting in West Boca, Florida on the subject of noise walls along U.S. 441 was that the walls could not be built. Many residents want the sound walls, some say that their property values will be hurt by the walls. Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials said that their study's results -- which calculated a cost of $57,000 per home protected, and a reduction of less than five decibels at most of those homes most affected -- do not justify sound walls. Local politicians told residents at the meeting not to give up, and said that "this is not over."

Rock City Gardens in Lookout Mountain, Georgia Rezoned As Business Conference District Despite Protests from Residents; Prompts Consideration of Noise Limitations. The Chattanooga Times reports that an 18-room estate in Lookout Mountain, Georgia was rezoned as a family/business conference district which permits "business functions, educational retreats and social gatherings" such as weddings. Partly as a result of the rezoning, the Council is considering a noise ordinance. Residents believe the rezoning will increase traffic, noise, and commerce in the area.

September 18, 1999

Gloucestershire, U.K. Woman Irritate by Noise from Airport Says Noise Is A Form of Pollution. The Gloucestershire Echo prints a letter to the editor from a Cheltenham, U.K. resident which criticizes the tendency of many to ignore noise as a real form of pollution. She says that noise pollution is just as bad as any other kind of pollution. She responds to a recent letter to the editor which said that noise from Staverton Airport is not annoying.

Noise From Celebratory Culture in Guadalupe, Arizona Irritates Tempe Residents. The Arizona Republic reports that noise from celebrations in the once-isolated Hispanic-Yaqui community of Guadalupe, Arizona has been bothering residents of an expanding Tempe. Noise and diminished property values are the concerns of Tempe residents, and even some residents of Guadalupe itself. Police acknowledge that the community is celebratory by nature, but enforce limits such as an 11:30 cut-off time for outdoor music.

Public Workshop in Tampa, Florida Outlines Final Proposal for 20-Year Expansion Plan at Tampa International Airport. The Tampa Tribune reports that Tampa, Florida's International Airport held a public workshop and discussed "a new runway, a larger terminal, more parking, light rail, and noise abatement programs." Those projects are part of the long-term plan to accommodate 25 million passengers by 2020, nearly doubling the current number. Community and Airport Authority members created the plan together, and hope for FAA approval within 1.5 years. A separate noise abatement plan, which will include an engine-testing structure and soundproofing of area homes, will be considered by separately by the FAA after an additional public hearing later this year.

September 19, 1999

After Years of Shifting Flight Paths From One Disturbed Community to Another, New York City Area Airports May Computer-Test Ocean Routes that Could Keep Noise Away From Residents. The Asbury Park Press reports that after years of shifting flight paths from one disturbed community to another, the New York/New Jersey Port Authority may computer-test ocean routes. Parties involved are now considering the computer-modeling of ocean routes that would largely limit noise from climbing aircraft to areas over the ocean. Since the 1978 deregulation of the airline industry, increasing traffic and noise have caused the FAA to try -- unsuccessfully -- to mitigate noise by shifting flight paths. New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise's ocean route proposal may offer a better solution.

Chapel Hill Councilmember Changes Vote and Allows Golf Course's "Agricultural" Fans to Remain Exempt from Noise Laws; Larger Issues Regarding Noise Ordinance to Be Addressed By Consultant. The Chapel Hill Herald reports that a member of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina Town Council reversed her vote on the issue of whether to allow golf course fans -- used for 'agricultural purposes" -- to remain exempt from the community's 60-decibel noise limit. Although quieter fans have been installed since, other council members say that the exemption should still be removed. The councilwoman who reversed her vote said that since a consultant has been hired to make alterations to the existing ordinance -- which may include a 5 decibel reduction in the noise limit -- "tinkering" in the meantime will be a wasted effort.

Environmentalists and Private Boaters Say Noise From Motorized Tour Boats Degrade the Grand Canyon Experience; Tour Operators Say They Allow Quicker, Easier Trips For Those Who Couldn't Otherwise Visit. The Los Angeles Times reports that operators of motorized raft tours on the Grand Canyon's Colorado River are at odds with environmentalists and private boaters who want a quieter, less congested river. Tour operators say that they allow older, less fit people, or people with little time to spare, to see the Grand Canyon. Environmentalists and private boaters say the noise ruins the natural quiet of the park, and waiting lists skewed in favor of companies relegate private boaters to a twenty-year waiting list. A motor ban on the river was killed twenty years ago, but a new management plan will raise the question again.

Main Runway Repaving at Providence, Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport Temporarily Changes Noise Patterns. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that during a two-week paving job of the main runway at Providence, Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport, aircraft will be using a shorter secondary runway. Some communities may experience increased noise. Also, airlines have sold fewer tickets to lighten their load and allow the use of the shorter runway.

Proposed Ban on Eastern Takeoffs at Burbank, California's Airport May Have Been Politically Motivated, but Safety Suggests It Is Still the Right Decision. The Los Angeles Times reports that although Burbank and Glendale may have been politically motivated when they suggested a ban on eastern takeoffs at Burbank Airport, safety would dictate that most flights would avoid eastern takeoffs anyway. Eastern takeoffs are dangerous because the runway is shorter than the other runways, tilts uphill, requires aircraft to climb rapidly, and passes through air space used by Los Angeles International Airport: among the busiest in the world. The article suggests that Congressmen who recently opposed the ban, claiming that it distributed noise unfairly, should acknowledge the agreements positive aspects such as construction of a new terminal at safe distance from runways, phasing out noisy jets, and closing the terminal at night to reduce night-noise from aircraft.

Recap of the Summer Events Surrounding a Proposed Commercial Airport at the Former El Toro Marines Base in Orange County, California. The Los Angeles Times reports on the events of the summer that have surrounded a proposal to establish a commercial airport at the former El Toro Marines base in Orange County, California. The definition of community to be affected by the outcome is defined as the County populace instead of the commmunities immediately surrounding the base; this places distant communities in control of airport approval. After months of debate, the Board of Supervisors decided to vote on the proposal in May after the planning process is further along. Shortly after, a citizen petition qualified a ballot initiative that would require a two-thirds approval for expansion of airports. The initiative will be voted on in March, and so the Supervisors' vote may end up being subject to citizen approval.

Research on Noise in Dhaka, Bangladesh Presented at Meeting Suggests Measures to Quiet the City. The Independent reports that noise research, gathered in Dhaka, Bangladesh and presented there yesterday, discussed the dangers of excessive noise in the city and some possible solutions. Noise in the city ranges from 68 to 106.2 decibels, although the World Health Organization has said that 65 decibels is the highest acceptable level. The article notes that attendees of the seminar included several government leaders.

Resident Letter Asks Northampton Residents to Stop Complaining About Industry Nuisances, Since Those Complaints Jeopardize Jobs. The Morning Call prints a letter to the editor which asks Northampton, Pennsylvania residents to stop complaining about noise and other nuisances from local industry. She asserts that such complaints recently put a factory out of business, costing many community jobs.

Texas' San Antonio International Airport Far Behind Other Airports in Noise Abatement. The San Antonio Express-News prints an editorial that criticizes noise abatement efforts at Texas' San Antonio International Airport. The article notes that two recent public hearings and noise studies have promised no relief for residents. While acknowledging that soundproofing is not practical for every affected home, the editorial pushes for a dialogue between all impacted parties.

U.S. Representative in San Fernando Valley Claims the Airport Authority's Deal with the City of Burbank Blatantly Ignores Noise Impacts South and West of the Airport. The Los Angeles Times prints a column written by a U.S Representative in the San Fernando Valley who claims that Burbank's Airport Authority and the city of Burbank have cut a deal that blatantly ignores the impacts of noise on residents South and West of the airport. A new terminal is needed at the airport, and a ban on eastern departures from the east-west runway was suggested as a condition for the city's approval of the terminal. This ban will reduce noise over eastern communities while burdening others who have continually suffered since the FAA ruled that the old terminal is positioned in such a way to make eastern departures unsafe. He debunks the claim that the 6,032 foot runway is too short for commercial flights, pointing out that Orange County's John Wayne Airport handles commercial flights while being 300 feet shorter.

September 20, 1999

Airports Across the Country, Including Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas, Are Almost Ready For the January 1st Federal Noise Standards to Come Into Effect. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Airports across the country, including Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (D/FW), are preparing to meet the January 1st deadline for new federally-mandated noise standards. The standards require the phasing out of all heavy "Stage 2" aircraft; Stage 2 aircraft with "hushkits" are quiet enough to be allowed under the standards. The airlines have known of the standards for 8 years, and 93 percent of the planes at D/FW meet the standards already. Some residents have noticed the difference, and some are still disrupted. The article also notes that D/FW has imposed their noise on fewer people as years have gone by even though traffic has increased, using several methods.

Columnist Asserts that Many St. Louis Area Politicians Are Losing Support from St. Charles Residents Because of Their Denial of the Aircraft Noise Problem. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch prints a column that mentions a long list of politicians in the St. Louis area who are either championing the fight against aircraft noise pollution, or are ignoring it. The issue of noise is getting attention because of a proposed $2.6 billion expansion at Lambert Field.

Electioneering and Religious Festivals in Madras, India Fill the Air with Noise, and Police are Slow to Enforce Limits. The Hindu reports that amplified sound from electioneering and religious festivals in Madras, India is getting worse., and the "touchiness" of religion in India means that police are often slow to act. Cars with altered mufflers or loud horns also cause disruption. Laws that exist include rules against cone speakers, and maximum noise levels in different zones.

Environment Department of South Gloucestershire, UK's Council Will Hire New Staff for Responding to Noise Complaints. The Bristol Evening Post reports that the Environment Department of South Gloucestershire, UK's Council plans to hire more staff to handle noise complaints during peak hours. Noise causes half of all complaints for the department. Complaints peak between 11 pm and midnight during the week, and from 10 am to midday and 8 pm to 2 am on the weekend. The staff will cost 106,000 pounds, and should be active by next year.

New Noise-Reducing Composite Introduced by Minneapolis, Minnesota Company. Design News reports that the Minneapolis, Minnesota company Prospec has introduced a new composite that is designed to reduce noise. The alternating layers of sound-absorbing foam and sound-containing vinyl could be placed in machinery housings to reduce noise.

Representative in Canberra, Australia Proposes Independent "Aviation Noise Ombudsman" to Investigate Noise and Pollution Complaints, Instead of the Current System of Complaining to Biased Airline Representatives. AAP Newsfeed reports that an Australian legislator has proposed an independent "aviation noise ombudsman" as an alternative to the current system that sends complaints to biased airline officials.

Residents Living Near New York City's Long Island Expressway are Upset at Noise from New Concrete Roadbed. The Daily News reports on a town meeting being held tonight in the Juniper Park neighborhood to address resident concerns over noise from the Long Island Expressway. A state Department of Transportation Official will be on hand to answer questions about the road's rehabilitation.

Study in Dhaka City, Bangladesh Reveals Surprisingly High Levels of Noise; Public May Now Become More Aware of Associated Health Risks. The Independent reports that a study on the presence of noise pollution in Dhaka City, Bangladesh revealed that many parts of the city have high levels of noise. Noise in the city exceeded World Health Organization recommendations in many places. Factors that contribute to the problem include densely packed structures, construction, loudspeakers, and lack of green spaces to absorb sound waves. Ailments such as tinnitus, vestibular symptoms, irritability, blood pressure and stress may result from continued exposure to noise above 65 decibels; exposure to noise higher than 80 decibels can permanently damage hearing.

US Urges EU to Reconsider Noise Law that Will Forbid Additional Stage 2 Aircrafts -- Even When Muffled with 'Husk-Kits' -- from Operating in Europe; US Says Companies Have Already Lost $2.1 Billion in Aircraft Resale Value and Hush-Kit Sales. The Business Times reports that the US is urging the European Union (EU) to reconsider noise laws that would ban additional Stage 2 aircraft from operating in Europe. The US says that the laws discriminate against older US Stage 2 planes with hush-kits which meet noise standards. The EU has already postponed implementation of the law. Now the US wants withdrawal of the legislation, and the EU seems willing to consider it if the US makes commitments to developing new Stage 4 international noise standards in the near future; talks on the new standards are currently at a stand still.

US and EU Nearing a Resolution to Tension Over EU's Aircraft Noise Regulations that US Says Would Unfairly Hurt Resale Market for Noisier Planes. Aviation Week and Space Technology reports that the US and the European Union (EU) are closer to an agreement that would resolve tension over proposed airport noise regulations in Europe. The regulations would forbid noisier Stage 2 aircraft from being used, which the US says would unfairly hurt the resale market for their aircraft. The EU may agree to withdraw or modify the regulations if the US commits in writing to a definitive timeline for development of the next phase of noise standards: Stage 4. The US is already working with the European Commission to outline principles and "an appropriate level of economic protection for the existing Stage 3 fleet," although the EU wants more assurances that the US will remain committed.

West Lafayette, Indiana's Purdue University Creates Institute to Study Tire and Highway Noise. Rubber & Plastics News reports that Purdue University in West LaFayette, Indiana has created the Institute of Safe, Quiet and Durable Highways. Tires have been studied at the University for years, and researchers already believe road noise to result from several distinct factors that warrant further study. The institute will have a $7 million budget for its first five years. There are opposing views at the new institute regarding the usefulness of "rubber-modified" asphalt, and it remains to be seen whether much research will be done in that area.

September 21, 1999

East Providence, Rhode Island Wood-Recycling Business May Be Shut Down After Owner Ignores Zoning Board Stipulations to Enclose Noisy Wood-Chipper. The Providence Journal-Bulletin reports that a wood recycling business in East Providence, Rhode Island may be shut down because the owner has ignored Zoning Board requirements. The business recycles building debris into wood chips, and neighbors have complained about noise and dust from wood-grinding equipment and trucks that unload to early in the morning and too late at night. The Zoning Board told the business to enclose the grinding machine, but the business has failed to do that and may lose its right to operate.

Frankfurt, Germany's Airport Takes Proactive Stance on Noise as Part of Its Expansion Plan to Stay Number One Cargo Hub In Europe. The Journal of Commerce reports that the Airport in Frankfurt Germany, which is currently the number one cargo-hub in Europe, is trying to insure that it will stay at the top. Future expansion plans may add a fourth runway, new aircraft parking, and a new terminal. Noise measures that were undertaken to stem noise-related objections to expansion have resulted in 98% of the airports aircraft being in the quieter category. The Airport's location, and the fact that the second-largest air-cargo company in the world is based there, helps to keep Frankfurt competitive.

Los Angeles, California City Council May Contract with Code Expert to Update Noise Ordinance. The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles, California's City Council will be considering a proposal to improve their 28 year-old noise ordinance by hiring an expert at a cost of $105,600.

Richfield, Minnesota Home, Located Near Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Sells Today After the Reversal of a Decision By the U.S. Department of Housing to Deny the New Buyers' Request for Mortgage Insurance. The Star Tribune reports that the sale of a home in Richfield, Minnesota went through today after the reversal of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Originally, mortgage insurance was denied to the buyers since the house's proximity to a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport runway made it likely that the "mortgage would outlast the house." A call from the local congressman, who was contacted by the sellers and by city officials, prompted the reversal of the decision. Some officials are worried about the implications of the original denial on future real estate deals, while others are not and say that the reversal will be the precedent.

Shadowlawn, Virginia Civic League Acknowledges Oceana Naval Base's Cooperation and Says It Has Reduced Aircraft Noise. The Virginian-Pilot prints several letters to the editor, one of which relates to noise in Virginia's Shadowlawn community from Oceana Naval Base aircraft. The author notes that after meeting with a commanding officer at the base, during which the Shadowlawn Civic League asked for a standard flight pattern to be used on a particular runway, noise has been significantly reduced. He supports the base while striving to reduce noise, and commends the officer and the base for their cooperative spirit.

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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