Hunter's Point Noise Pollution
Saturday 25 July 2015 02:25:02 PM
Location: 1201 Evans Ave
This is a report about on ongoing but preventable health issue in Hunter’s Point - noise pollution. Since 1992, we’ve lived on Bowman Court, one block from The San Francisco Newspaper Printing Plant (SFNP), at 1201 Evans Avenue. The plant, which was operating when we moved in, operates twenty-four hours a day, six days a week - Sunday evening through Saturday evening.
At the time we moved to the neighborhood, the plant building had a large roll up door in the side that remained open almost all the time. In 2006, they purchased a new industrial printing press. When it was installed, they cut two large additional roll up entrances into the side and back of the building, closest to our street, further increasing the noise level in the neighborhood.
Even worse for us, however, is that during the same time, SFNP placed a railroad-car sized debris box in the parking lot outside the building also on the side of their building closest to Bowman Court. Since then, from 6 AM to 10 PM six day a week forklifts intermittently transport metal containers full of paper trash to the dumpster and onto a lift that raises them up and shakes them, banging loudly and repeatedly, into the dumpster, The sound of metal the banging is unbearably loud: after hearing this noise day after day, week after week for nine years, my husband and I are experiencing what we think compares to a traumatic stress reaction. We often wear earplugs inside the house just to tolerate the noise. Our home is our sanctuary, and though we can avoid or ignore many of the other pollutants in this afflicted neighborhood, this noise invades our home. As I write this, I am having new, sound-quieting replacement windows installed at my own expense.
Years ago, shortly after the banging began, we contacted Tom Revard at the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health, and requested assistance. He came and measured noise levels from inside and in front of our house. He explained that the measurements bordered on violation of City noise ordinances; however, because the noise only occurred intermittently, he was unable to gather enough samples to determine that the plant was in strict violation. His said he would return at other times to continue his measurements. Meanwhile, he said he would speak to the plant manager and try negotiate with their manager, whom we have also talked to, so that they would not use the dumpster between 10 PM and 6 AM. We don't know whether or not he ever followed through with subsequent measurements.
For the most part, they have adhered to the time restrictions, but the noise between 6 AM and 10 PM continues. We have seriously thought of moving away, but we could not afford to do that and still live and work in the Bay Area. so we tolerate it. Many of our neighbors hear the noise but haven't the time or temperament to try to fight it. One neighbor said he would like to sleep later than 6AM but on many days, the noise wakes him up.
Please help us determine, negotiate, and enforce a solution.