Mill operator given deadline to reduce noise

Some nearby residents complaining levels are too high

A wooden dowel manufacturer in the Lougheed Highway and Dewdney Trunk Road industrial area has been given a Friday deadline by the district to comply with noise concerns.

Millstream Sorting Ltd. has been using a new log peeler to debark trees since July. Some nearby residents have told council they must wear ear plugs to get through the day.

The district has worked with the company on noise abatement for several months, and the owner has conducted an acoustic test to measure the noise pollution.

The sounds reach a level of 77 continuous decibels (dBA) near the peeler, 66 dBA at the closest home to the site, and 57 dBA in a nearby neighbourhood.

These levels exceed the noise bylaw which restricts daytime noise to 60 dBA at the property line.

The noise generated by 60 to 70 dBA is like somebody talking to you from three to five feet away. At 80 dBA, the sound is similar to a dial tone.

The company has until tomorrow to reduce the noise at the nearest house to 55 dBA, and if on Monday the noise exceeds that limit, the district intends to seek a court injunction stopping work on the property.

“I do recognize this is a serious issue with regards to noise,” said Mayor James Atebe on Monday, before adding the company has shown it takes the concerns seriously by investing time and money to find a solution to the problem.

But Coun. Jenny Stevens said district staff has also spent considerable staff hours dealing with the issue, and it’s time to deliver an ultimatum.

Coun. Mike Scudder said, “Council and staff has done everything to bring a resolution to this process.”

Local resident Lloyd McKimmon led a delegation before council Sept. 6 to complain about the noise, saying the continuous sound “completely ruined” his summer.

Correspondence between district staff and the company, released to the public Monday, shows that the company intends to shut down Friday and construct an acoustic enclosure around the peeler.