Resident takes issue with noise, council’s actions

Sunday Times Newspapers


WYANDOTTE — After more than a year and several written complaints, residents still are dissatisfied about actions taken toward the noise coming from a local plant.


Marie Douglass of Plum Street has submitted several written complaints to City Council about the noise emitted from Cadon Plating Co., 3715 11th, a few blocks from her house.


Police found no wrongdoing by the local finishing company after taking random sound level readings near the plant in January.


A regenerative thermal oxidizer unit mounted on the southeast corner of the building’s roof is the device emitting the noise, and it is working properly, according to Plant Manager Joseph Gooding.


Earlier this month Douglass once again brought her complaints about the noise to the council, saying nothing has changed, and that the noise has a “great impact” on her despite the police readings.


No actions were taken on her complaint and it was placed on file.


On Monday Douglass submitted another complaint, this time not only about the noise, but also the council’s “disregard” for her concerns.


“I am once again disputing the acceptable decibel levels reported to the council in the initial investigation,” she said. “Council put forth minimal effort in assessing persons who did not perform extensive research or obtain the appropriate equipment necessary for performing readings below 50 decibels to prove unequivocal compliance with the (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) established protective noise levels acceptable values.”


The EPA’s acceptable levels are lower than the guidelines on which police originally based their findings.


According to the EPA, the level of 70 decibels is identified for all areas, indoors and outdoors, as a cause of hearing loss over a prolonged time without any periods of relative quiet.


In January police found the average reading was 75 decibels at Douglass’ house when a train was passing, and 65 when one was not.


According to police, decibels in the 60s are fairly quiet, and those in the upper 70s are annoyingly loud to some people.


Douglass would now like the decibel levels to be re-examined, taking the EPA guidelines into consideration.


“I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the sound frequency megahertz,” she said, “as well as the mayor and council members’ apathetic behavior in believing that they have obtained all the available information.


“Now having accurate information, the council and mayor now owe the residents in my subdivision further investigation into this complaint.”


Councilman Patrick Sutka said it was clear to him that Douglass was “very frustrated with the situation,” and he referred the matter back to the police and engineering departments for review.


However, some council members did not feel this would satisfy Douglass.


“One of the things she is not happy with are the people that were assigned (to take the readings), which are qualified police officers that do this kind of stuff,” said Councilman Joseph Peterson.


City Engineer Mark Kowalewski said he didn’t know of anyone else besides the police that he could refer the matter to that would be trained to take the readings.


“I think the people that did this study were well prepared and did their job, and she seems to disagree,” said Mayor James DeSana. “I don’t know where this disagreement might end up.”


Police now will review the readings with the EPA standards in mind and report back to the council with their findings.