New noise bill calls for modern monitoring
When Frank Sinatra celebrated NYC as The city that never sleeps, it was all about the joys of nightlife. The average New Yorker may rather think of disturbingly high noise levels. A few years back, Columbia University released a study showing that 98 per cent of Manhattan’s public space was unhealthily noisy.
A significant share of this noise emanated from the numerous construction sites, large and small, around the city.
In December 2017, a new noise bill was proposed to reduce noise levels from sledgehammers and heavy construction vehicles and other sources during the designated quiet hours, before 7 am and after 6 pm during the business week, and anytime on weekends.
Maximum 75 decibels by 2020
Since the bill was passed, new construction projects must keep noise below 85 decibels within 200 feet of a residence. That limit will be reduced to 80 decibels in 2019, and 75 decibels in 2020.
To ensure compliance, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection is now going to inspect construction sites at relevant times, and will also issue annual reports on their response to noise complaints. The bill is expected to cut the amount of noise allowed to come from a construction site when work is being done during quiet hours by half.
A city inspector called in to deal with excessive noise disturbance can now issue an immediate verbal stop work order, sorting out the paper work later.
Modern noise monitoring systems
If the construction management team can prove that it is really impossible to complete the work at hand without exceeding the maximum noise level, they can be exempt. But only after submitting a plan how to minimize the noise disturbance.
The new, stricter regulations are bound to significantly increase the demand for and routinely use of modern noise monitoring systems at construction sites.