Making Noise About Noise

BCEIA 2019 guide When to Make Noise About Noise

Making Noise About Noise

For some projects, noise can factor significantly in the environmental assessment process. For others, however, noise isn’t a major concern. Deciding which projects could benefit from an environmental noise study isn’t simple.

If you’ve ever wondered about when and how to conduct a noise study, open up the BC Environment Industry Association’s 2019 Guide. On page 16 you’ll find a feature article by Mark Bliss, Principal Acoustical Consultant at BKL. It reveals insights that can help inform these types of decisions for a variety of new projects.

The article, titled “When to Make Noise About Noise,” shows readers the value of assessing a new project’s potential to make noise, whether it’s construction or operations noise. Bliss includes a handy list of questions you can ask to determine whether or not your project could benefit from an assessment.

Drawing from two BKL case studies, the Evergreen Line SkyTrain extension and a third-party review of the New Prosperity Mine, Bliss explains why the project planning stage is the ideal time to determine whether or not to conduct a noise assessment. He reminds readers that noise effects aren’t always obvious, and shows how, even in remote areas, noise can disrupt cultural and spiritual activities of Indigenous communities or affect wildlife habitats, recreational spots, and more.

Bliss also stresses the importance of conducting assessments according to international best practices. Through the contrasting case studies, he shows how the steady hand of a qualified acoustical consultant can assuage noise concerns and keep projects on track.

In addition, the article provides a tidy definition of noise and reviews the health concerns associated with long-term noise exposure, adding further impetus to give noise the consideration it deserves.

Whether your next project is downtown or in the middle of nowhere, concerns about environmental noise could affect your project’s chances of being completed on time. So remember to ask yourself if you need to make some noise about noise, and if you do, give us a ring!

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