• Virgini Senden

The AUC published a draft revision to Rule 012, Noise Control on their website on December 19, 2018. Comments are possible until February 4, 2019. The revision is extensive. A high level summary is provided below:

- Requirements for applications when an extension is requested for the time needed to construct a new facility. If there are significant changes to the facility, if there are new dwellings within 1.5 km from the facility or if additional energy-related facilities were build nearby, an updated NIA should be provided. The PSL applies also to the new dwellings;

- The procedure for an A2 adjustment has been adapted. The A2 adjustment can also be requested for approved facilities. Ambient Sound Level measurements for an A2 adjustment can now be conducted at a replacement dwelling, if the operating facility cannot be shut down;

- The ambient sound level must be assessed for new applications, especially where either pristine or noisy conditions prevail;

- Deferred facilities lost their status last October 17th, 2018;

- Treatment of encroaching dwellings will change:

> For new dwellings near existing facilities, the changes are minor;

> For new dwellings near approved facilities under construction, treatment is essentially the same as for existing facilities. However, an updated NIA must be provided 30 days prior to starting facility construction;

> For new dwellings near approved facilities where construction has not yet started, after the construction completion data in the facility permit, the PSL is determined as if the facility was not yet approved.

- Receptor height needs to reflect the height of the dwelling. dBA Noise Consultants understands to mean that a 2nd story should be considered for the nighttime period.

- For Comprehensive Sound Level Surveys (CSL), data from multiple days of monitoring may now be combined to meet the requirement of at least 3 hours of valid data. The requirements for assessing compliance in case of multiple facilities has changes;

- Appendix A (glossary) to Rule 012 has been changed and expanded.

A complete overview of the proposed changes can be found on the AUC's website:

If you have questions about the proposed changes or if you want to discuss the effects for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Updated: Jan 24, 2019

The British Columbia Noise Control Best Practices Guideline has been renewed. Version 2.0 came into effect on November 30, 2018. Version 2.1 will come into effect January 1, 2019.

A stated purpose of the renewal was to better align the guideline with AER Directive 038 that applies to Oil & Gas facilities in Alberta. An important difference however is the inclusion of noise from drilling and maintaining wells. The Permissible Sound Level (PSL) applies to those activities as well, and a Noise Impact Assessment (NIA) should be completed as part of the permit application process. Another difference is that documented Noise Management Programs (NMPr) are mandated. NMPr's should be in place not later than January 31, 2019.

A NMPr should:

- Establish responsibility for the NMPr;

- Identify the noise sources associated with the well or facility;

- Set out the requirements for Noise Impact Assessments;

- Describe how noise will be monitored and measured over the lifecycle of permitted facilities;

- Establish noise mitigation methods;

- Establish a communication strategy including complaint response procedures;

- Sets out how and where individual site or activity noise mitigation plans will be established;

- Incorporates measurements and continual improvement, and

- Encompasses required reporting to the Commission and others;

- Be discussed and include input from all potentially affected stakeholders.

According to the Commission, Best Practices include regular measurements to determine if there are any significant changes to noise levels. Also, improving notification measures to neighbours of planned events that may generate more noise.

Noise control practices during drilling activities are evaluated on a project and site specific basis.

A site-specific Noise Management Plan (NMP) with a potential Noise Mitigation Plan (NMitP) must be implemented when noise concerns have been voiced during consultation or if a dwelling is present within 800 m from the well site. The Plan should be kept available at the well site and should include the following:

- An assessment of cumulative background noise;

- A Noise Impact Assessment for the activities;

- NMitP's if the PSL is exceeded.

dBA Noise Consultants can help you with all the requirements included in the new guideline including the development of Noise Management Programs, Noise Management Plans and Noise Mitigation Plans. We are only a phone call away.

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