Friday, October 8, 2010
BOH confers with DEP, builder on noise issue
• Chestnut Estates noise complaint. The Board of Health (BOH) on September 28 discussed the the Chestnut Estates development, where neighbors have called to complain about a noise disturbance. For several months the firm Rainbow Builders has been using a hydrolic rock hammer, or “hoe ram” to crush stone during construction at the development off Rutland Street.
Board of Health Agent Linda Fantasia later explained that the hoe ram is a machine with a rod at the end that is used to break up large rocks. It has been used at the site for breaking up ledge for a fire cistern, as well as in the construction of swales, roadwork or a wetland replication area. “The noise can be excessive. It can be disruptive,” she said. Typically the hammer is used to break up large rocks after blasting, but Fantasia said that over the summer the builders were using the hammer more than usual while waiting to obtain a blasting permit, at times frequently and for long periods.
The board was first called about the noise in early August. Fantasia contacted the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and a DEP representative came out and measured the noise. “It was in an advisory capacity to the town,” she explained, noting that it was not a state enforcement issue. “The noise exceeded a guideline, but a guideline is not a regulation.” She said, “We were in contact with the developer at that time.” He was instructed to use blasting whenever possible and minimize use of the hammer whenever possible.
Since then the builder has been working with the building inspector and board to minimize rock hammer noise and has agreed to submit email notification to the building inspector before each use. Fantasia says that the public can call either the building inspector or BOH or Planning Board administrator for an update. It is expected that the hydraulic hammer work will be finished by December.
What recourse do neighbors have when they have a complaint about construction noise? “Excessive noise does fall within the Board of Health jurisdiction,” Fantasia says, “but again, the state only has guidelines. A lot depends on how bad it is and the cooperation of the people involved.”
Other business – Curve Street odor complaint
Manure stored in the lot across from the Cranberry Bog House on Curve Street has been unusually malodorous in September, due in part to the quantity of manure and the heat. The board will contact Mark Duffy and make sure bylaw guidelines are being followed.
625 Rutland Street
At the request of the board, the homeowner and geothermal well engineers produced additional information to apply for a closed-loop well permit. The heating and cooling project scheduled to start at the end of October will involve drilling three six-inch borings approximately 370 feet deep 15 to 20 feet apart on the property. The board granted approval with the condition that the engineers produce a site plan with the setback distances and property lines clearly marked. ∆
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