Update: NYC Mayor Signs Construction Noise Measure

January 19, 2018

New York City Council measure 1653-B was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio this week, which may make the city that never sleeps a bit quieter.

New York's city council passed the bill last month which allows city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) inspectors responding to construction noise complaints to measure the noise level on the street or walkway, rather than being required to take decibel readings inside the complainant's building.

If the DEP inspector determines the noise level exceeds regulations, under this new law the inspector can issue an immediate stop work order, requiring the equipment to be shut down immediately.

The law also requires contractors to file alternative noise mitigation plans and request exemptions to the law if they expect increased construction noise is necessary to perform the job. Measure 1653-B says construction work performed without a noise mitigation plan is unlawful.

Until 2020, sound readings take 50 feet or more from the source or 500 feet from a residence cannot exceed 80 decibels. Beginning January 1, 2020, acceptable levels max out at 75 decibels. Impulse sounds like those of a jackhammer can only be 15 decibels above ambient surround levels.

The city is also required to publish online reports detailing how many noise related violations have been reported, what fines were paid for those violations, number of stop orders issued, etc.

image: Wilson Acoustic Limited

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