• Are Construction Companies Abiding by New York City and County Codes Addressing Noise Violations?
  • July 12, 2018 | Author: Howard Raphaelson
  • Law Firm: Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. - New York Office
  • High levels of noise can be detrimental to your health, and some of the common adverse effects of excessive noise include learning deficits and cardiovascular problems. Different studies have also shown that the risk of developing heart disease tend to increase as the level of community noise goes beyond 40 decibels(dB).

    The common joke in New York City is that there are two seasons: winter and construction which explains why the levels of noise in the city keep on rising. New York is widely known as the city that never sleeps, and it is for a good reason. The city’s construction noise is sufficient to keep anyone awake throughout the night. In a town that is parked with millions of people who often reside in tight quarters, most of the city dwellers here experience noise pollution from both internal and external sources.

    Various regulations have been introduced in the city to help address the issue of noise within the city, but a lot of work still needs to bed one. Most residents are left wondering whether the law that regulates noise levels, especially from the construction industry works.

    The big question here is; are the construction companies abiding by the New York and county codes addressing noise violations? Is there something extra that needs to be done to bring peace and silence back to the city? Answers to these queries can only be found by addressing several issues.

    What Are the Latest Noise Regulations in New York City?

    Although New York City has had several noise laws for many years, the most recent changes to these laws reflect the current state of noise pollution challenges in the city. Several reports show that the city residents filed more than 450,000 noise-related complaints in 2017 which represents the most reports received via 311 in a year. The complaints mainly flagged construction noises, loud party music, and truck and car horns.

    Originally, the noise law in New York City was Local Law 57 of 1972 that was amended in 1985, 1998, and overhauled in 2005. The new law became effective on July 1st, 2007. However, in January 2018, the City Council passed a bill that was initially sponsored by Ben Kallo. The primary objective of this bill was to limit the construction noise overnight and on weekends.

    Are Construction Companies Abiding By the New Law on Noise Pollution?

    The latest bill on noise pollution in the city require all construction companies to abide by a lower sound limit when working after hours, that is before 7:00 am and after 6:00 pm on weekdays and anytime during the weekend.

    Before this law was passed, construction companies were allowed to make noise above 85dB within 200 feet of a residence. However, the noise limit is expected to drop to at most 75dB under the new regulations. The National Institute of Health warns that listening to sustained and repeated sounds that are above 85dB can cause severe hearing problems. For instance, a jackhammer produces a sound that is around 110dB while a nearby jet takeoff can produce sounds that could be approximately 120dB.

    It is also evident that most construction companies in New York City do not abide by these codes and continue to operate even after hours. There is a need for the law enforcement agencies in New York to come together to ensure that all construction companies follow the regulations to help minimize the problem of noise pollution that is greatly affecting the resident in this city, and also protect the safety of their workers.

    What Can You Do to Help Mitigate Noise Pollution?

    If you are a worker and believe noise violations have caused hearing loss or similar adverse affects, it may be in your best interests to speak with a New York construction accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. If you discover that a construction site is outside your home and is producing excessive noise, then you should call 311 and report the case. The law enforcement agencies will schedule an appointment and check out the construction site. Depending on the noise levels being produced by the site, the officers can issue a notice of violation or compel the site owner and the contractor to get a noise mitigation plan in place if they want to proceed with the project.