Noise is simply any sound that you don’t want to hear. Operations must deal with noise complaints and be able to demonstrate compliance to maintain favorable public relations with neighbors.
GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech has been providing noise consulting services and measurement for over 35 years. We offer third-party monitoring and analysis – serving as experts to consult and help operations and project personnel understand the concerns and solutions to measure and mitigate noise. Through the use of modern sound level monitoring equipment and modeling software, we can provide a means of distinguishing noise from sound allowing an operation to be a more responsive and a quieter neighbor.
Sound and Noise
There is no physical difference between “noise” and “sound”. What makes a difference, is the subjective response of the listener to these sounds. Noise is simply any sound that you don’t want to hear. The occurrence of noise related issues in the aggregate, construction and energy industries is similar to ground vibration in that neighbors do not want to know you are there. Operations must deal with noise complaints just like they deal with ground vibration complaints. Your operation must be able to demonstrate compliance and maintain favorable public relations with neighbors.
Noise Limits and Criteria
The first step in conducting noise level monitoring for your project is to identify the correct and applicable noise limit or criteria. In some cases, noise criteria may be set by local zoning codes or contained within municipal regulations. In other cases, specific criteria and guidelines set by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may apply. In the aggregate industry, sound level limits may be set by the city, community or township where the aggregate operation is located as part of their operating permit requirements. Construction projects usually have a set noise limit identified in their project specifications based on the city, community or township where the construction activity is taking place. If there is no limit, you can compare noise to general noise guidelines. In some cases, an ambient noise study may be required to compare the ambient noise levels to operational noise levels. This can be helpful to document how much noise, above the ambient or natural occurring noise, your project produces.
Noise Monitoring and Control Plan
Once we have identified the appropriate noise limit or criteria for the project, GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech can develop a noise monitoring and control plan specific to your project or situation. The importance of developing such a plan is that it clearly outlines the noise limits, how and where noise measurements should be conducted, prediction of expected noise levels based on equipment testing and modeling and assessment of mitigation. Finally, this plan details the analysis and reporting of the noise data. Procedures and alert notifications can be set for project personnel to notify them when the noise is nearing set limits and what actions may be needed.
Noise Level Monitoring
Once the appropriate noise level limit or criteria has been identified for your project and you have your monitoring plan finalized, noise monitoring can be conducted according the plan to demonstrate compliance to the limit. A specific type sound level monitor is required to accurately and correctly monitor sound. GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech uses type 1 integrating sound level meters that meet the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) and the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) standards for noise level monitoring. Our hand-held meters provide short term monitoring solutions or permanent long term monitoring stations to measure and analyze sound. These monitors are capable of logging long-term noise and audio clips to help quantify and measure various sound level descriptions and identify noise sources from a specific noise event.
Turn to GeoSonics/Vibra-Tech for sound expert advice on noise evaluation and analysis. Contact us today for more information or learn about our other Noise Services: