Based on sound-level surveys conducted at two multiday music festivals at Metropolitan Park, the City might have to amend its noise pollution regulations, according to the City engineer who supervised the studies.
Steve Pace, City Environmental Quality Division senior environmental engineer manager, on Thursday presented results of the survey conducted during the May 10-11 “Funk Fest” at the riverfront park.
Pace made the presentation to the City Council Ad Hoc Committee on Metropolitan Park.
He said sound-level readings recorded outside the park in nearby neighborhoods along the Northbank and Southbank all were generally below the allowable levels in both dBA, which includes audible sound, and octave band, which includes lower frequencies, or bass.
Readings on May 11 determined five brief periods when octave band readings exceeded allowable levels.
The City Environmental Protection Board Rule 4, often referred to as the “noise ordinance,” allows a maximum level of no more than 63-75 decibels in four specific octave band frequencies.
The first study was conducted April 27-28 during the “Welcome to Rockville” music festival at Metropolitan Park.
That study indicated seven violations of noise regulations during brief periods.
When presenting results from the test during Rockville, Pace said the festival had little measurable impact on noise levels in surrounding neighborhoods.
“The numbers are too low to be fair to the promoters (of concerts) from a regulatory standpoint,” Pace said Thursday.
He also said sound levels that exceeded the allowable limit at Funk Fest were attributed to noise from traffic rather than music coming from the park.
Excessive noise levels recorded during Rockville were attributed to birds and frogs.
For both studies, monitoring was conducted at the sound control boards inside the park and at sites outside the park.
Pace said based on data from the studies, impact of noise and vibration on surrounding residential areas could be controlled by establishing a noise level standard to be measured at the sound control board.
He said limiting the allowable octave band level recorded at the sound board could prevent “excursion” of vibration toward surrounding areas outside the park.
“The data is there to establish a starting point and then adjust,” Pace said.