VII. SOUND LEVEL LIMITS
(1) The following sound level limits shall be observed at the property boundaries of the pit or quarry:
“Night” 55 dBA
“Evening” 60 dBA
(1)(a) No person responsible for the operation of a quarry shall permit any blasting on site to exceed the following limits:
Concussion (Air Blast) 128 dBA
Ground Vibration 0.5 in./sec.
(12.5 mm/s) Peak Particle Velocity
Within 7 m of the nearest structure not located on the property where the blasting operations occur, or other locations as directed by the Minister or Administrator.
The above is quoted verbatim from the Nova Scotia Pit and Quarry Guidelines.
In general, the concern is that noise can increase stress in some people. The maximum sound level alone is not enough to predict a person’s reaction to it; the duration and type of noise (e.g., pitch) is also important. In addition, a person’s annoyance with noise is affected by their expectation of a quiet environment, characteristics such as tones, pulses, screeching, the combined level of sound and the difference between the specific sound and the noise in absence of the specific sound.
The fact that Scotian Materials and their consultants measured noise in the noisiest areas in the nearby community and presented average noise only over an unspecified period of time means that they have ignored: 1) the fact that many areas in that community are extremely quiet and depending on the location, season, and weather do not hear noise from the highway; 2) the background noises such as cars passing on the community roads, aircraft flying, and highway noise, if heard, is intermittent and not constant; 3) the quality of current background noise is completely different from the noise characteristics of quarrying and heavy equipment; 4) humans find constant noise at 55 dBA and above to be extremely annoying, regardless of what the Pit and Quarry guidelines state; and 5) the Pit and Quarry guidelines refer to the property boundaries, not the residential areas. We the residents can attest that this is an extremely quiet neighbourhood and when visitors come here they quite often comment that it is “so quiet.” The noises we hear are birds chirping and frogs peeping. Thus our annoyance with the noise levels is likely to be reached far before the threshold to the Pit and Quarry guidelines are exceeded, which when considered in context is very high and will completely destroy the quiet of the semi-rural environment in the areas closest to the quarry if allowed to proceed.
The Pit and Quarry guidelines (Nova Scotia) state the maximum noise level during the day is 65dBA at the property line. Guidelines for the Use of Explosives in or Near Canadian Fisheries Waters state the maximum pressure in the swim bladder of fish produced by blasting is 100kPa and maximum 13mm/s in spawning area. Scotian Materials and their consultants did not model noise levels at the property boundaries, nor did they produce pressure modelling for the very nearby watercourses which may contain fish and spawning areas. Instead they indicate an absence of fish which is ridiculous as people fish regularly in Holland Brook which is just south of the proposed site. The blasting report written by a world leading expert shows the maximum vibration levels will undoubtedly be exceeded in nearby watercourses. Scotian Materials and their consultants also did not take into account the already loud noises from aircraft near the proposed quarry site.
Allowable noise levels through modelling were exceeded at the western boundary of the proposed Black Point Quarry, which appears to be approximately the same distance as the distance between the proposed Fall River Quarry / Goffs Quarry and the property boundary with crown land. Please note that after the land exchange with land in Tantallon, which perhaps has not been updated in the 2016 industrial application because the land exchange occurred after the application submission, the property boundaries have changed. Because of the changed property boundaries and the noise already at the property boundaries, we can estimate at this time that the noise levels at the property boundaries will easily exceed the allowable noise level as stated in the Pit and Quarry guidelines. Noise receptors are not only humans at the nearest residences, as submitted by Scotian Materials and their consultants, but humans enjoying the nature trails and crown land, and wildlife in their habitats and supposedly safe from harm in the nearby Waverley Game Sanctuary and Waverley Long Lake Salmon River Wilderness Area are also sensitive receptors. Imagine yourself out for a walk on Perrin Drive/Guysborough Rd, or walking the trail around Soldier Lake, or fishing in a nearby river on crown land, when from one direction you hear rock crushers, heavy machinery, and conveyor belts, and then an airplane descends overhead… hardly what you would call a peaceful time enjoying nature.
Member of the Nova Scotia Road Builder’s Association Robert MacPherson. Scotian Materials Limited. Rob MacPherson. Contact. Address: 100 Venture Run, Suite 103. Dartmouth. #scotianmaterials scotianmaterials.com scotianmaterials.info scotianmaterials.ca Halifax quarry quarries aggregate gravel #noFRquarry Scotian Materials Ltd.