Letter: Noise law to make mowers, plows illegal

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 07:50:19-05

Residents in Pendleton are wondering who sent them a un-signed letter with no return address warning them that the town's proposed noise law could make it illegal to mow, operate leaf blowers, shoot guns, or snow plow.

The letters were delivered this past weekend and come just days before a public hearing on draft legislation specifying new restrictions for noise, odor and glare.

Town officials tell 7 Eyewitness News they don't know who sent the letters but they are inaccurate and misrepresent provisions of the proposed ordinance.

Under the draft legislation, Pendleton will use sound-level meters to make sure "all unreasonable noise from all sources" is not "detrimental to the comfort, convenience, safety, health and welfare, and to the quality of life of the citizens of the town."

If passed, the law would cover sound-reproduction devices that are causing an annoyance within 100 feet of real property boundaries, loud car speakers, sound-reproduction devices within 500 feet of churches, schools, court facilities, hospitals, nursing homes or medical facilities.

It would also restrict snow removal equipment between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Motorcycle and motor vehicles over 10,000 pounds cannot be operated at a stationary location, other than traffic congestion, for more than 15 minutes in an hour.

Noisy animals that make sounds for more than 15 minutes continuously will be covered, as will construction activities during overnight and weekend hours.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is schedule for Monday January 11, 2016 at the Pendleton Town Hall for 6:30 p.m.

Town officials say the changes were called for by vocal residents upset with motorcycles, and a group called the Pendleton Action Team, which was concerned about future noise generated by a proposed natural gas compressor station that National Fuel Gas wants to construct on Killian Road.

National Fuel tells 7 Eyewitness News that the facility is not expected to produce an increase in sound above the ambient levels already existing for nearby residents. And the company adds, people living more than half-mile from the station will most likely not hear anything.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission still has to give approval for the compressor that is hoped to be operational by 2017.

However, members of the Pendleton Action Team are continuing to press for a nuisance law on grounds it will help regulate sound, light, vibration and odorous gas emission from the facility.

Team members plan to make a presentation to the Niagara County Health Department at the end of January to explain their concerns about the compressor.

National Fuel says it will fully comply with all federal regulations for compressor stations. A spokesperson explains that concerns over compressor stations in other parts of New York State faded after the stations opened with minimal noise.




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