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Acoustics (Noise) Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures to avoid or reduce acoustical impacts (noise) from coal mining.

The following are examples of mitigation measures that could be applied to reduce noise impacts depending upon site- and project-specific conditions. Noise impacts relate to the types and amount of equipment and machinery used for the project, the amount and types of vehicular traffic, and the times of day at which noise-producing activities are taking place. Many impacts can be reduced or avoided when considered during the siting and design phase.

Develop a final set of mitigation measures for any project in consultation with the appropriate federal resource management agencies and stakeholders. Conduct these consultations early in the project development process and preferably prior to final project siting and design.

Siting and Design Mitigation Measures

  • Proponents of a coal mine project should take measurements to assess the existing background noise levels at a given site and compare them with the anticipated noise levels associated with the proposed project. Nearby residences and likely sensitive receptors should be identified at this time.
  • Locate all stationary construction or mining equipment (i.e., compressors and generators) as far as practicable from nearby residences and other sensitive receptors.

General Mitigation Measures

General mitigation practices and principles that could apply to any or all phases of a coal mining project include:

  • Limit noisy activities (including blasting) to the least noise-sensitive times of day (weekdays only between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.).
  • All equipment should have sound-control devices no less effective than those provided on the original equipment. Muffle and maintain all construction equipment used.
  • Notify nearby residents in advance when blasting or other noisy activities are required.
  • Whenever feasible, schedule different noisy activities (e.g., blasting and earthmoving) to occur at the same time, since additional sources of noise generally do not add a significant amount of noise. That is, less-frequent noisy activities would be less annoying than frequent less-noisy activities..
  • To the extent feasible, route heavy truck and rail traffic supporting mining activities away from residences and other sensitive receptors.