Township of Allegheny, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Allegheny 6-9-1997 by Ord. No. 13-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 223.
Zoning — See Ch. 250.

§ 164-1 Definitions.

The following word meanings shall apply in this chapter:
ANSI
The American National Standards Institute.
CALIBRATOR
A device used for adjusting a sound level meter to a known standard.
DAYTIME
All those hours occurring between 7:00:00 a.m. and 5:59:59 p.m. of the prevailing local time.
EVENING
All those hours occurring between 6:00:00 p.m. and 10:59:59 p.m. of the prevailing local time.
INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT OPERATIONAL SOUND
Sound produced by any component of any equipment used in any industrial process, be said process either stationary or movable.
NIGHTTIME
All those hours occurring between 11:00:00 p.m. and 6:59:59 a.m. of the prevailing local time.
NOISE
Any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or is unwanted or which causes or tends to cause an adverse psychological effect on human beings.
[Added 10-8-2007 by Ord. No. 06-2007]
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any sound which endangers or injures the health of humans or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.
[Added 10-8-2007 by Ord. No. 06-2007]
OCTAVE BAND ANALYZER
An accessory device which, when used with a sound level meter, allows for the measurement of individual frequency bands.
OPERATOR
Any person, company, corporation or other entity owning or engaged in or controlling the operation of industrial equipment.
PERSON
Any natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
RESIDENTIAL (R1) DISTRICT
Any area within the Township so defined by the latest approved Township Zoning Map.
SOUND LEVEL METER (SLM)
An instrument for measuring sound pressure which instrument shall meet or exceed the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for a sound level meter.
SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Twenty times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of the root mean square (RMS) sound pressure to the reference pressure of 20 micropascals (20 x 10-6 N/m 2). Sound pressure level is denoted Lp or SPL and is expressed in decibels.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Allegheny, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
WEIGHTING NETWORK
A systematic means by which, when measuring sound, a sound level meter either includes or discriminates against certain frequencies. The weighting are denoted "A," "B," and "C." For the purpose of this chapter, the A weighting (which approximates the human ear response) expressed as dbA, only, shall be used.
WINDGUARD
A porous or open-celled plastic foam cover used to attenuate wind noise entering a microphone.

§ 164-2 Hours of operation.

[Amended 10-8-2007 by Ord. No. 06-2007]
This chapter applies to all industrial equipment operational sound whether it be classified as impact sound, impulsive sound, intermittent continuous sound, or continuous sound, and it includes sounds which are directly transmitted from the source to the receiver or reflected, by one or more surfaces, from the source to the receiver. Sound classifications shall be those terms accepted and in general use by technicians qualified in the science of acoustics.
A. 
Daytime hours. An operator of industrial equipment, which is under his control, shall not permit industrial equipment operational sound from said equipment, at any frequency, to exceed 55 dbA as measured with a sound level meter positioned within a Residential (R1) District or immediately inside and at the district line, at any geographical point along said line of a Residential (R1) District during the daytime hours.
B. 
Evening hours. An operator of industrial equipment, which is under his control, shall not permit industrial equipment operational sound, at any frequency, to exceed 45 dbA as measured with a sound level meter positioned within a Residential (R1) District or immediately inside and at the district line, at any geographical point along said line of a Residential (R1) District during the evening hours.
C. 
Nighttime hours. An operator of industrial equipment, which is under his control, shall not permit industrial equipment operational sound, at any frequency, to exceed 40 dbA as measured with a sound level meter positioned within a Residential (R1) District or immediately inside and at the district line, at any geographic point along said line of a Residential (R1) District during the nighttime hours.

§ 164-3 Acoustical survey (SLM) measurement method.

A. 
An ANSI approved sound level meter (SLM), operated by a qualified acoustics technician, shall be used in all instances. The technician, within a maximum of 10 working days after taking measurements, shall report to the Board of Supervisors the result of the survey. The SLM shall be of a type in current general use and may include a 1/5, 1/3 or 1/1 octave band analyzer, provided that A-weighted measurements are always recorded and shall be the single determining sound pressure level. The SLM shall be calibrated both immediately before and immediately after any measurement period with a calibrating instrument which is ANSI-approved for the SLM being used. An approved windguard shall be placed over the SLM's microphone during the recording of all measurements. The battery-check result for both the calibrator and the SLM instruments and any meter deviations noted in the before-and-after calibrations shall be entered in all subsequent reports. A form shall be provided by the Township for recording sound pressure level events. Copies of all raw notes and scratch data shall accompany any subsequent technician's report and any estimated values in a report made by a technician shall be clearly noted as such.
B. 
Instrument readings.
(1) 
Continuous sound:
(a) 
A minimum of 20 separate dbA readings shall be recorded at any individual geographic SLM location.
(b) 
A minimum of three minutes (180 seconds) shall elapse between each separate SLM reading.
(c) 
The average of each set of 20 readings shall be calculated and reported as the dbA SPL for a specific geographical SLM location.
(2) 
Intermittent continuous sound. Measurements shall be as specified in Subsection B(1)(a), (b) and (c) during the time period within which the sound is being transmitted.
(3) 
Impact sound.
(a) 
A minimum of 20 peak dbA SPL values, including the time in seconds separating each peak impact event, as well as the total time period of the entire impacts event measurement, shall be recorded at each specific geographical SLM location. A minimum measurement period of one hour per SLM location shall be required.
(b) 
The average of each set of 20 readings shall be calculated and reported as the impact dbA SPL for a specified time period relative to a specific geographical SLM location.
(c) 
If desired, and using ANSI-approved instrumentation, charts recording sound decay-time periods may be included.
(4) 
Impulsive sound. Measurements shall be as specified in Subsection B(3)(a), (b) and (c) during the time period within which the sound is being transmitted.

§ 164-4 Temporary permit; fee.

[Amended 1-10-2005 by Ord. No. 2-2005; 10-8-2007 by Ord. No. 06-2007]
The Township Board of Supervisors, at its discretion, may issue a temporary operating permit to the operator of industrial equipment which is in violation of this chapter. The fee for said permit shall be $75, and its duration, in days, shall be specified therein. The amount of said fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. In no event shall a temporary operating permit be issued to the operator of industrial equipment which is in violation of this chapter for a period of time in excess of seven days.

§ 164-5 Complaint procedure.

A formal, written complaint, signed and dated by the complainant(s), shall be required to initiate action under this chapter. Action shall consist of a technical sound level survey as described herein; a report of the survey findings to the Board of Supervisors; an outline of further action, or no further action to be taken by the Board; and the final assessment of costs as determined by the survey results.

§ 164-6 Cost of SLM measurements to be assessed.

Costs for any acoustical survey (SLM) measurements shall be assessed as follows:
A. 
All costs for any acoustical survey (SLM) measurements which prove an industrial equipment sound source is in violation of this chapter shall be assessed against the operator of the industrial equipment. Said costs shall be in addition to any fines which may be imposed by the Township.
B. 
All costs for any acoustical survey (SLM) measurements which prove an industrial equipment sound source is not in violation of this chapter shall be assessed against the individual person(s) or other entity complainant.

§ 164-7 Exceptions.

The following equipment and persons shall be excepted from this chapter:
A. 
Sound from equipment used in the normal course of farming operations.
B. 
Sound from Township equipment.
C. 
Sound of a temporary nature resulting from residential, commercial and industrial building construction.
D. 
Sound from any process source that does not exceed five normal daylight working days from Monday to Friday, inclusive.

§ 164-8 Determination of violations.

[Amended 10-8-2007 by Ord. No. 06-2007]
A violation of this chapter shall occur should any time period and its related maximum permitted industrial equipment sound level in dbA SPL, as specified in § 164-2A, B and C and all of its subsections, be exceeded by any operator of any industrial equipment. The violation shall be contingent upon the result of a sound pressure level survey completed in accordance with the method(s) set forth in § 164-3B(1) through (4), including all the subsections thereof. Sound levels in excess of the dbA SPL, as specified in § 164-2A, B and C, when measured in accordance with the methods set forth in § 164-3B(1) through (4), including all the subsections thereof, shall be considered noise and a noise disturbance, as defined in § 164-1 herein, and in violation of this chapter.

§ 164-9 Violations and penalties.

A. 
If any person, operator, company, corporation or other entity is in violation of any of the conditions, restrictions or requirements or any of the provisions of this chapter and/or neglects or refuses to comply with the provisions of this chapter, he shall be guilty of a violation and for each such violation, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice, he shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 along with costs of prosecution, and imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses, provided that each day's violation shall constitute a separate violation.
B. 
In addition, the Township shall have the right to enforce this chapter or to remedy conditions occasioned by violations of this chapter by actions instituted in equity or at law.