Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From Atlantic Yards Watch: Generators at Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street disrupt residents

Who wants to live near generators, especially when the decibel level gets stratospheric?

Atlantic Yards Watch reports, in Generators at Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street disrupt residents:
Generators adjacent to perimeter fencing across from residences, and the absence of barriers to shield the residences from the noise they generate, appear to violate both the spirit and the letter of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments. The generators are apparently being used to facilitate construction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge.
They are situated directly across the street from residences on the north sidewalk of Pacific Street at the location of the Carlton Avenue Bridge. They are in a highly visible location close to the construction offices and along the walking route between the construction offices and the arena construction site.
A recent incident report declaims, "Their generator is making me crazy !!!!" It asks, "Is there any way we can have them "plug" their damn equipment in instead of using the damn generator ALL DAY EVERYDAY?!?!!? It is really starting to drive me nuts!"
A resident with a decibel reader registered 98 decibel level outdoors in the vicinity of one generator Saturday, December 17th at 6 pm. According to the Guide to the NYC noise code, a train has a decibel level of 100dB(A) and a lawnmower has a decibel level of 85 to 90 dB(A). The guide explains a decibel is a logarithmic unit, "which means that a noise measuring 30 decibels is actually 10 times louder than a noise that registering at 20 decibels." A measurement of 45 dB is recommended indoors and should not exceed 65 dB. Outdoor walls and windows are anticipated to reduce noise levels by 15 dB. Residential units are located roughly 50 feet from the location of the generators.
Note that it's not clear exactly how close the decibel reader was.


Are steps taken?

So, is "noisier equipment," as per the memorandum, situated "at locations that are removed from sensitive receptor locations and are shielded from sensitive receptor locations wherever feasible." provided with significant noise shielding?

Apparently not:
Although the Memorandum specifies a "minimum 8 foot height perimeter barrier (constructed of 3/4 thick plywood), with a 16 foot hight barrier (of 3/4" thick plywood) adjacent to sensitive locations, including locations along Pacific Street, Dean Street, and Flatbush Avenue opposite residences," there are no barriers of that description installed in this location. The generators are separated from residences by a chain link fence that does not shield noise.
Yesterday, I contacted the state and city officials in charge of Atlantic Yards construction issues, but didn't hear back yet. (Update: here's a response.)

What's it like?

Here's a video, via Atlantic Yards Watch:



Evasion of responsibility

An Atlantic Yards Watch incident report explains:
Examples of the daily incessant & relentless deafening noise & exhaust from the generators engine located at Pacific Street & Carlton Avenue adjacent to perimeter fencing across from residences, no barriers to shield the residences from the noise they generate. They are located directly across the street around 40’ from residences on Carlton Avenue & Pacific Streets. When the construction workers learned that a db meter was being used to monitor the noise level they hooked up the generator & removed it from the site but left 2 others.

Here's another video, which shows, in a few moments, how close a generator is to residences:

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