Noise bylaw allows 24/7 operations

Grand Forks city council has passed three readings of a motion to allow an amendment to the current noise control bylaw (No. 1963).

At the Grand Forks city council meeting on Sept. 15, council passed three readings of a motion to allow an amendment to the current noise control bylaw (No. 1963).

The amendment clause deals with the fact that at times the market requires that industrial operations need to run additional shifts to meet their market demands.

“The amendment basically makes it acceptable to have a certain level of noise in the mill and in a production area within industry,” said Mayor Brian Taylor at council. “This is a clean-up matter. It puts us in a position where we give some comfort to the employers. It doesn’t mean we’ve neglected at all our abilities to minimize that and the kind of disruption it might cause. We’re not giving up those rights in terms of accepting the wording of this amendment.”

The bylaw amendment (No. 1963 A-1) would read: “Industrial operations may operate for 24 hours a day, seven days a week when required to produce products to fulfill the world wide business market orders. Industry will be required to work with the city to limit noise that disturbs the community during evening and graveyard shifts. The city realizes that NOT ALL NOISE can be eliminated.”

Wayne Kopan, manager of bylaw enforcement services, said the city occasionally receives noise complaints from residents located near heavy industry.

“The addition of the bylaw simply allows our industries the right to operate additional shifts when required,” he said. “The bylaw amendment does not intend to give free reign to industries in as much as they are still required to do their utmost in mitigating noise.”

Coun. Neil Krog spoke up during discussion of the amendment, saying that although there was research done into noise levels and ratings, there was none done in the evening.

“I don’t think there’s enough detail in (the amendment),” said Krog.

Krog was the lone councillor to vote against the amendment. Coun. Michael Wirischagin was absent.