Sandy to rule on noise issues|
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
DUBOIS - The ball is in the Sandy Township Board of Supervisors' court after Platt Road residents asked them to determine whether or not noise from a water-hauling site at the Industrial Park is "objectionable."
Resident Ruth Dunlap said she used a decibel meter in the back room of her home with the windows closed from 6:30 a.m.- noon, and the decibel readings varied from 58.2- 80.3. The readings were greater than what is permissible for residential and commercial areas according to information Dunlap read on the Internet. Most of the water hauling on Platt Road seems to occur overnight and decreases at times during the day, she said.
Resident John Tapper asked the board to consider whether or not the noise violated any township codes. Solicitor Greg Kruk said a performance standard in the township's zoning ordinance is applicable to the alleged noise at the Platt Road site, however the township does not have a noise ordinance that applies.
The performance standard states, "anyone who is in any zone cannot create noise which is determined to be objectionable because of volume or frequency, and if it is it shall be muffled or otherwise controlled accept for fire sirens and related apparatus used for public safety purposes."
The Board of Supervisors previously stated EOG has attempted to construct a hay bale barrier to muffle sound at its site. Chairman Brady LaBorde asked Dunlap if she has researched permissible decibel readings in an industrial zone. Dunlap said she has not.
Dunlap presented a prepared statement from DuBois City Council to Supervisor Dave Sylvis. The statement says legally, each Pennsylvania municipality can only govern subdivision and land use located within their corporate boundaries.
"Who a business buys product from or sells product to is irrelevant," Sylvis read. "Where the business is located and pays taxes is the only relevant factor in deciding whose responsibility it is in handling any problems."
The statement said EOG's business intent to haul large volumes of water via truck for gas well drilling was clearly defined from the very start and knowledge that many heavy trucks would travel on a township road was evident when EOG widened and upgraded Platt Road with approval and oversight from Sandy Township's supervisors.
"What I tried to explain to you when I said about go to the city maybe they could help you is they're the ones making the profit, making the money from that," said Sylvis. "If there's anything they could do financially they have the ability to do it, not us."
Sylvis said the township didn't issue the permits to sell water, and didn't issue EOG a contract to put their business in. He added that it's not in the township's ability to set hours of operation for a business legally located within an industrial park.
In other business, Township Manager Dick Castonguay said PennSafe Inspections is now conducting uniform construction code inspections in the township. PennSafe began on Friday, and its employees are introducing themselves to contractors at current projects.
The board of supervisors is invited to a pre-construction conference for the state Route 255 culvert replacement project on June 11 at 10 a.m., he said.
At the municipal authority meeting, Castonguay said United States Department of Agriculture approved requisition No. 15 for the township water project and it has been paid.
A check would be going out to the contractor and engineering firm, he said, and it should leave one final requisition for engineering and construction. Castonguay said the money budgeted for the water project would cover the final requisition.
In addition, people are still connecting to the system and a recent storm caused water damage to a residential basement. Castonguay said a drainpipe was cut off, and a contractor worked to correct the issue. Kukuran Insurance would be on site to inspect and take photos.
Sandy Township's next municipal authority and board of supervisors meeting is scheduled for June 18 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.