Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Residents, Labor Reps Review Noise Fix

Led by Councilmembers Tommy Wells and Mary Cheh, representatives of the H and 8th St NE community and labor unions are reviewing legislative language drafted by Acting Attorney General Linda Singer’s office to fix the District of Columbia’s broken noise ordinance.

The action follows a Jan. 30 meeting of the groups to address mutual concerns in an effort to close the gaping loophole in the city noise statute. Added to the D.C. statute in 2004, the current language exempts from city noise regulations noncommercial amplified speech anywhere in the city between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty said he supports the noise fix.

This provision, of course, is a great benefit to those wishing to freely express themselves—including Washington’s labor community. However, H Street NE residents and businesses are held captive nearly every Saturday by one unreasonable group’s amplifier, which blasts noncommercial speech for more than four hours at the volume of a rock concert.

Labor leaders have affirmed their cooperation with the H Street NE community and the city to resolve the problem.

The northeast residents and businesses are unwavering in their support for free speech, assembly and religion. However, they also believe “every person is entitled to ambient noise levels that are not detrimental to life to life, health, and enjoyment of his or her property.”

While every urban dweller must expect a certain amount of noise, the issue of health and safety is of extreme concern.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “a 24-hour exposure level of 70 decibels as the level of environmental noise which will prevent any measurable hearing loss over a lifetime.”

“Likewise, levels of 55 decibels outdoors and 45 decibels indoors are identified as preventing activity interference and annoyance. These levels of noise are considered those which will permit spoken conversation and other activities such as sleeping, working and recreation, which are part of the daily human condition.”

Let’s urge the city council to craft a solution that does not disturb D.C. residents’ hearing or speech.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Persistance pays off. You are making a difference!

6:53 PM  

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