Noise causing problems in your community?

Tips, resources, and suggestions for addressing noise problems in Pennsylvania communities.

Thursday, May 06, 2021
A recent Boston University study on soundscape ecology in urban parks in the Boston area suggests that increased vehicle speeds may be increasing noise in some urban parks despite overall reductions in traffic due to the pandemic. The study notes:...
Monday, April 19, 2021
Three researchers from California Polytechnic State University published an article in The Proceeding of the Royal Society B demonstrating both long-term, negative effects on plants from noise and also a lengthy recovery time (over a decade) from ...
Friday, February 26, 2021
The Pennsylvania Superior Court modestly stepped-up criminal relief for victims of alleged neighbor retaliation or excessive noise. In Commonwealth v. McConnell, 2020 PA Super 300 (Super., Dec. 30, 2020) (Slip). police cited  McConnell with disord...
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
One-third of Fracking Health Complaints in Pennsylvania Involve Noise Almost one-third (32.7%) of complaints lodged to the Pennsylvania Department of Health about hydraulic fracturing in unconventional gas wells in Pennsylvania (fracking)  involve...

If Noise Were Black Goo...Health Risks from Noise

If a rusty pipe in the neighborhood oozed black goo and that goo was tied to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, ulcers, learning impairment in children, impairment of life tasks, sleep disruption, migraine headaches, neuroticism, stress disorders, and early death, irate community members would have the pipe shut down immediately. And yet, today's medical research links precisely these serious, medical problems (and others) to noise pollution. Communities sometimes labor under the assumption that noise pollution is some type of secondary issue or the domain of so-called hypersensitive individuals. The science and medical research conclusively show otherwise.

Furthermore, for almost 50 years, federal law places obligations on communities to combat noise pollution to avoid adverse health consequences and maintain positive neighborhoods. Over 500 years of common law and constitutional law place an affirmative duty on each person to use their property in a way that does not interfere with the fundamental constitutional property right of the quiet enjoyment of property. Yet, many communities still treat noise as a "mere" nuisance and fail to take significant action to combat noise pollution and interference with fundamental property rights. That needs to change.