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  • Writer's pictureVirgini Senden

BC Noise Control Best Practices Guideline Updated

On July 13 2021, the BC Oil & Gas Commission published V2.2 of the “British Columbia Noise Control Best Practices Guideline”. The changes are mostly technical.

When drilling, servicing or completing a well, a site specific noise management plan should be made and implemented, and be available on the well site:

  • Within 800 m from a house;

  • When noise concerns have been voiced during public consultation;

  • When noise concerns have been voiced during First Nation consultation.

During these operations the Permissible Sound Level (PSL) should not be exceeded.

Screening noise assessments are now permitted to assess well site (fracking) noise. However, all supporting information should be available to the Commission upon request (audits, complaints). Screening NIAs should include the following:

  • An appropriate and site-specific noise model;

  • Backup information (mostly, information found in regular NIA's);

  • PSL for surrounding residences;

  • An indication how the screening NIA will be used to assess the risk of potential complaints and as part of the noise mitigation strategy.

In our opinion, the requirement to have all backup information available makes that producing a full NIA report still makes the most sense; the potential savings with a screening NIA are exclusively in reporting cost, and will potentially be exceeded if the backup information has to be provided after the fact.

For temporary activities lasting 30 days or less, a Class B2 adjustment of 10 dB is added the PSL. This was 7 days or less in the previous version.

If an A2 adjustment is considered for activities near busy highways, road noise contours have been made available for highways in Northeast BC near Dawson Creek to assist in establishing an A2 adjustment:

  • Alaska Highway ((7 North) Peace River (South of Tylor) to Dawson Creek;

  • John Hart Highway (97 West) Dawson Creek to East of Chetwynd;

  • Highway 49 Dawson Creek to Alberta border;

  • Highway 2 Dawson Creek to Alberta Border.

The bulletin introducing the updated guideline can be found here.

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