The Coffs Bypass Action Group (CBAG) has been busy doing their own noise measurements and recordings prior to the release of the EIS.
Brian Polack from CBAG, who spearheaded the study, stated that “CBAG is particularly concerned about the validity and interpretation of some of the noise testing data, and the associated noise modelling predictions contained in the Coffs Harbour Bypass EIS.”
The EIS measured and modelled baseline noise measurements of overnight noise appear to be consistently higher than CBAG noise measurements.
Mr Polack said that “for example at the northern end of Pearce Drive, the EIS has baseline measurements of 53 decibels (dB), whereas we measured the same residences at 37 dB. To put this into perspective, 53 dB is relatively noisy, like being around 250m from a 110km/hr highway, and locals know that the northern end of Pearce Drive is currently relatively quiet.
The concern is, dependent upon location, if the after-construction baseline measurement is over 55 dB, or if the increase is predicted to be more than 12 dB, then the home qualifies for noise mitigation treatments.
Hence based on CBAG’s Pearce Drive noise measurement of 37 dB, due to the likely noise increase, it would qualify for noise mitigation treatment, whereas based on EIS measurements and modelling it would not. So, it’s very important to have pre-construction noise measurements, and to have confidence in the validity and interpretation of them and the associated noise modelling predictions.”
Coffs Bypass Action Group Spokesperson Rod McKelvey further commented “We continue to reiterate that we are very pleased with the inclusions of tunnels, low noise pavement, sound barriers, etc. But once the Bypass is complete it will be impossible to substantiate the pre-construction noise levels.
For this reason, CBAG will be formally requesting for an independent audit of the EIS noise testing to be undertaken to check the validity and interpretation of the noise testing data to have confidence in the process and ensure that residents who will be significantly affected by noise don’t miss out on getting the treatment they deserve.”
More information on this topic can be found at the Coffs Bypass Action Group’s website http://‘https://www.coffsbypassactiongroup.com/p/the-reality-of-noise.html’.
There will also be a detailed briefing at its next General Meeting on Thursday 10th of October at the Cavanbah Centre at 6.30pm.
The above is a Press Release from CBAG – Tuesday 1 October, 2019.